Origin of elfinprobably ; from Middle English elvene, genitive plural : see elf
- a. Relating to or suggestive of an elf.b. Made, done, or produced by an elf.
- Small and sprightly or mischievous.
- Having a magical quality or charm; fairylike: moved across the dimly lit stage with elfin grace.
Origin of elfinProbably from Middle English elvene, pl. of elve, elf, from Old English -elfen (as in wuduelfen, dryad); see albho- in Indo-European roots.
From Middle English elven, from Old English elfen, ælfen (“nymph, spirit, fairy”), diminutive of elf, ælf (“elf”), equivalent to elf + -en. Cognate with Middle High German elbinne (“a fairy, nymph”).
(comparative more elfin, superlative most elfin)
- Relating to or resembling an elf, especially in its tiny size or features.
Partly from attributive use of Etymology 1, but reanalysed by Spenser as if equivalent to elf + -en.