Pronunciation Noun

elf (plural elves)

  1. (Norse mythology) A luminous spirit presiding over nature and fertility and dwelling in the world of Álfheim (Elfland). Compare angel, nymph, fairy.
    • c. 1595–1596, William Shakespeare, “A Midsommer Nights Dreame”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene ii]:
      Every elf, and fairy sprite, / Hop as light as bird from brier.
  2. Any from a race of mythical, supernatural beings resembling but seen as distinct from human beings. They are usually delicate-featured and skilled in magic or spellcrafting; sometimes depicted as clashing with dwarves, especially in modern fantasy literature.
  3. (fantasy) Any of the magical, typically forest-guarding races bearing some similarities to the Norse álfar (through Tolkien's Eldar).
  4. A very diminutive person; a dwarf.
  5. (South Africa) The bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix).
  • (supernatural creature) See goblin (hostile); fairy (small)
Related terms Translations Translations Translations Verb

elf (elfs, present participle elfing; past and past participle elfed)

  1. (now rare) To twist into elflocks (of hair); to mat.
    • c. 1605, William Shakespeare, King Lear
      My face I'll grime with filth, blanket my loins, elf all my hairs in knots, and with presented nakedness outface the winds and persecutions of the sky.


elf (uncountable)

  1. (computing) Initialism of Executable and Linking Format a common object file format for Unix
    • 2016, Ryan "elfmaster" O'Neill, Learning Linux Binary Analysis (page 97)
      In ELF executables, there aren't a whole lot of code caves (such as in the PE format), so you are not likely to be able to shove more than just a meager amount of shellcode into existing code slots […]
  2. (electronics) Initialism of extremely low frequency band of radio frequencies from 3 to 30 hertz
  3. (linguistics) Initialism of English as a Lingua Franca
Related terms Proper noun
  1. Initialism of w:Earth Liberation Front a radical environmentalism group
  2. Initialism of w:Elvish Linguistic Fellowship an organization that studies the invented languages of J. R. R. Tolkien
  3. Initialism of w:Endangered Language Fund a non-profit organization

This text is extracted from the Wiktionary and it is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license | Terms and conditions | Privacy policy 0.004
Offline English dictionary