What does erlking mean?

Definitions for erlking

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word erlking.


  1. erlkingnoun

    in German mythology, a giant who preys on children

  2. Etymology: A part-translation of German Erlkönig literally ‘alder-king’, a mistranslation of Danish ellerkonge ‘king of the elves’.


  1. Erlking

    In European folklore and myth, the Erlking is a sinister elf who lingers in the woods. He stalks children who stay in the woods for too long, and kills them by a single touch. The name "Erlking" (German: Erlkönig, lit. 'alder-king') is a name used in German Romanticism for the figure of a spirit or "king of the fairies". It is usually assumed that the name is a derivation from the ellekonge (older elverkonge, i.e. "Elf-king") in Danish folklore. The name is first used by Johann Gottfried Herder in his ballad "Erlkönigs Tochter" (1778), an adaptation of the Danish Hr. Oluf han rider (1739), and was taken up by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in his poem "Erlkönig" (1782), which was set to music by Schubert, among others. In English translations of Goethe's poem, the name is sometimes rendered as Erl-king.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Erlkingnoun

    a personification, in German and Scandinavian mythology, of a spirit natural power supposed to work mischief and ruin, esp. to children

  2. Etymology: [G. erlknig, fr. Dan. ellekonge elfking.]


  1. Erlking

    The Erlking is depicted in a number of German poems and ballads as a malevolent creature who haunts forests and carries off travellers to their deaths. The name may be an 18th-century mistranslation of the original Danish word elverkonge, "elf-king". The character is most famous as the antagonist in Goethe's poem Der Erlkönig and Schubert's musical adaptation of the same name.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of erlking in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of erlking in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

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"erlking." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/erlking>.

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