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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
elfin
adjective
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ an elfin charm
▪ Winona's face is small, almost elfin, with pale skin and big eyes.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
elfin

Thecla \Thec"la\, n. Any one of many species of small delicately colored butterflies belonging to Thecla and allied genera; -- called also hairstreak, and elfin.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
elfin

"of or pertaining to elves," 1590s, from elf; first found in Spenser, who also used it as a noun and might have been thinking of elven but the word also is a proper name in the Arthurian romances (Elphin).

Wiktionary
elfin

Etymology 1 n. 1 An elf; an inhabitant of fairy-land. 2 A little urchin or child. Etymology 2

a. Relating to or resembling an elf, especially in its tiny size or features.

WordNet
elfin
  1. adj. suggestive of an elf in strangeness and otherworldliness; "thunderbolts quivered with elfin flares of heat lightning"; "the fey quality was there, the ability to see the moon at midday"- John Mason Brown [syn: fey]

  2. small and delicate; "she was an elfin creature--graceful and delicate"; "obsessed by things elfin and small" [syn: elflike]

  3. relating to or made or done by or as if by an elf; "elfin bells"; "all the little creatures joined in the elfin dance"

  4. usually good-naturedly mischievous; "perpetrated a practical joke with elfin delight"; "elvish tricks" [syn: elfish, elvish]

Gazetteer
Wikipedia
ELFIN

Electron Losses and Fields Investigation (ELFIN) is a nanosatellite in development at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). ELFIN is a 3U CubeSat designed to study space weather, specifically, the loss of relativistic electrons in the radiation belts. ELFIN is currently a participant in the Air Force Research Lab's University Nanosatellite Program and is funded by NASA's Low Cost Access to Space program and the National Science Foundation.

ELFIN carries a fluxgate magnetometer as well as two energetic particle detectors: one for ions and one for electrons. The principal investigator of the project is Vassilis Angelopoulos.

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Usage examples of "elfin".

Tiriki scampered into the room, her silky fair hair all aflutter about the elfin face, her small tunic torn, one pink foot sandalled and the other bare, whose rapid uneven steps bore her swiftly to Domaris.

And the pale-blue Elfin Mountains faded from view before Orion had gone from the frontier as much as a hundred paces, for their gloomless peaks were hid by the earthly darkness that was deepening wide over the fields we know.

Simon made no reply, he just stared down at the tiny elfin gure below him, searching the brown face, the black eyes, the straight hair for some resemblance that would connect her with Tilly.

Below them in the valley, the Seine wound snakewise through a series of silvery silent loops, and beyond, across the fields and forests and villages, already melting swiftly into night and twinkling with a diamond dust of lights, they saw the huge and smoking substance that was Paris, a design of elfin towers and ancient buildings and vast inhuman distances, an architecture of enchantment, smoky, lovely as a dream, seeming to be upborne, to be sustained, to float there like the vision of an impossible and unapproachable loveliness, out of a huge opalescent mist.

Their elfin steeds were better adapted to the world of mortalkind, and able to make swifter progress while levitating.

THE NEW FABLE OF THE SPEEDY SPRITE One Monday Morning a range and well-conditioned Elfin of the Young Unmarried Set, yclept Loretta, emerged into the Sunlight and hit the Concrete Path with a ringing Heel.

Lukien had never seen before, a tiny thing with shocking white hair and elfin ears and a coat that seemed alive with color.

Reason returned when he saw a stick-thin elfin robes that bespoke magic staring upward at him sometime later.

Despite this trepidatious unease, the sentries had been made curious by the sight of a man and woman of the race of men traveling with babies of obvious Elfin descent.

Her high cheekbones resembled those of an elfin queen, her skin rosy yet unafflicted by tawdry make-up.

The clerk sat perched on the broad back, looking absurdly small, an elfin broncobuster who could be thrown at any moment.

Elfin Highlands, and some to trade for the round raisin cheeses which had come downriver from Twombly Town.

These dwarfs, anxiously awaiting their cheeses, prepared honeycakes in huge quantities, some for themselves, some for the elves that lived above in the Elfin Highlands, and some to trade for the round raisin cheeses which had come downriver from Twombly Town.

He went away again before Claribel could ask any questions and presently returned with the girl, small and slim and dark with an elfin prettiness and an air of helplessness.

The Crabapple Blossoms had by now surely perished in the Elfin Marches, or else vanished for ever into Fairyland.