sylph definition by Webster's New World
- in Paracelsus's alchemical system, any of a class of mortal, soulless beings supposed to inhabit the air
- a slender, graceful woman or girl
Origin: Modern Latin sylphus, coined (prob. by Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus) ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps Classical Latin sylva, silva (see sylvan) plush nympha, nymph
- sylphlike adjective
sylph definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- A slim, graceful woman or girl.
- In the occult philosophy of Paracelsus, a being that has air as its element.
Origin: New Latin sylpha, perhaps blend of Latin sylvestris, of the forest (from silva, sylva, forest) and Latin nympha, nymph; see nymph.