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Definition elk

Etymology 1

From Middle English elk, from Old English eolc, eolh (“elk”), from Proto-Germanic *elhaz, *algiz (“elk”) (compare Low German Elk, German Elch, Norwegian elg, Swedish älg), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁élḱis, *h₁ólḱis (compare Polish łoś, Russian лось (losʹ), Vedic Sanskrit ऋश्य (ṛ́śya, “antelope”), variant of *h₁elh₁én (compare German Elen, Tocharian A yäl, Tocharian B ylem (“gazelle”), Lithuanian élnis (“stag”), Armenian եղնիկ (ełnik, “doe, hind”)), from *h₁el- (“deer”).


elk (plural elk or elks)

  1. Any of various large species of deer such as red deer, moose or wapiti (see usage notes).
    1. The subspecies of the moose (Alces alces alces, alternatively named Eurasian elk because the wapiti is also called elk) that occurs only in Europe and Asia (not to be confused with the species called moose {Alces alces} which encompasses all subspecies of the moose).
    2. (now chiefly Europe) The largest member of the deer family (Alces alces); a moose.
    3. (Canada, US) The common wapiti (Cervus canadensis); the second largest member of the deer family, smaller only than a moose.

Etymology 2


elk (plural elks)

  1. (obsolete) Alternative form of elke (the common swan (Cygnus cygnus, syn. Cygnus ferus)

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