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EL'E-GANT, a. [L. elegans.]

  1. Polished; polite; refined; graceful; pleasing to good taste; as, elegant manners.
  2. Polished; neat; pure; rich in expressions; correct in arrangement; as, an elegant style or composition.
  3. Uttering or delivering elegant language with propriety and grace; as, an elegant speaker.
  4. Symmetrical; regular; well formed in its parts, proportions and distribution; as, an elegant structure.
  5. Nice; sensible to beauty; discriminating beauty from deformity or imperfection; as, an elegant taste. [This is a loose application of the word; elegant being used for delicate.]
  6. Beautiful in form and colors; pleasing; as, an elegant flower.
  7. Rich; costly and ornamental; as, elegant furniture or equipage.

EL'E-GANT-LY, adv.

  1. In a manner to please; with elegance; with beauty; with pleasing propriety; as, a composition elegantly written.
  2. With due symmetry; with well formed and duly proportioned parts; as, a house elegantly built.
  3. Richly; with rich or handsome materials well disposed as, a room elegantly furnished; a woman elegantly dressed.

E-LE'GI-AC, a. [Low L. elegiacus. See Elegy.]

  1. Belonging to elegy; plaintive; expressing sorrow or lamentation; as, an elegiac lay; elegiac strains. Gay.
  2. Used in elegies. Pentameter verse is elegiac. Roscommon.


A writer of elegies. Goldsmith.

E-LE'GIT, n. [L. eligo, elegi, to choose.]

  1. A writ of execution, by which a defendant's goods are apprized and delivered to the plaintif, and if not sufficient to satisfy the debt, one moiety of his lands are delivered, to be held till the debt is paid by the rents and profits.
  2. The title to estate by elegit. Blackstone.

EL'E-GY, n. [L. elegia; Gr. ελεγειον, ελεγος, supposed to be from λεγω, to speak or utter. Qu. the root of the L. lugeo. The verbs may have a common origin, for to speak and to cry out in wailing are only modifications of the same act, to throw out the voice with more or less vehemence.]

  1. A mournful or plaintive poem, or a funeral song; a poem or a song expressive of sorrow and lamentation. Shak. Dryden.
  2. A short poem without points or affected elegancies. Johnson.

EL'E-MENT, n. [L. elementum; Fr. element; It. and Sp. elemento; Arm. elfenn; W. elven, or elvyz. This word Owen refers to elv or el, a moving principle, that which has in itself the power of motion; and el is also a spirit or angel, which seems to be the Sax. ælf, an elf. Vossius assigns elementum, to eleo, for oleo, to grow. See Elf.]

  1. The first or constituent principle or minutest part of any thing; as, the elements of earth, water, salt or wood; the elements of the world; the elements of animal or vegetable bodies. So letters are called the elements of language.
  2. An ingredient; a constituent part of any composition.
  3. In a chimical sense, an atom; the minutest particle of a substance; that which can not be divided by chimical analysis, and therefore considered as a simple substance, as oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, &c. An element is strictly the last result of chimical analysis; that which can not be decomposed by any means now employed. An atom is the last result of mechanical division; that which can not be any farther divided without decomposition; hence there may be both elementary and compound atoms.
  4. In the plural, the first rules or principles of an art or science; rudiments; as, the elements of geometry; the elements of music; the elements of painting; the elements of a theory.
  5. In popular language, fire, air, earth and water, are called the four elements, as formerly it was supposed that these are simple bodies, of which the world is composed. Later discoveries prove air, earth and water to be compound bodies, and fire to be only the extrication of light and heat during combustion.
  6. Element, in the singular, is sometimes used for the air. Shak.
  7. The substance which forms the natural or most suitable habitation of an animal. Water is the proper element of fishes; air, of man. Hence,
  8. The proper state or sphere of any thing; the state of things suited to one's temper or habits. Faction is the element of a demagogue.
  9. The matter or substances which compose the world. The elements shall melt with fervent heat. 2 Pet. iii.
  10. The outline or sketch; as, the elements of a plan.
  11. Moving cause or principle; that which excites action. Passions, the elements of life. Pope. Elements, in the plural, the bread and wine used in the eucharist.

EL'E-MENT, v.t.

  1. To compound of elements or first principles. Boyle.
  2. To constitute; to make as a first principle. Donne. [This word is rarely or never used.]


  1. Pertaining to elements.
  2. Produced by some of the four supposed elements; elemental war. Dryden.
  3. Produced by elements; as, elemental strife. Pope.
  4. Arising from first principles. Brown.


Composition of principles or ingredients. Whitlock.


According to elements; literally; as the words, “Take, eat; this is my body;” elementally understood. Milton.


The state of being elementary; the simplicity of nature; uncompounded state. Brown.


  1. Primary; simple; uncompounded; uncombined; having only one principle or constituent part; as, an elementary substance. Elementary particles are those into which a body is resolved by decomposition.
  2. Initial; rudimental; containing, teaching or discussing fast principles, rules or rudiments; as, an elementary treatise or disquisition. Reid. Blackstone.
  3. Treating of elements; collecting, digesting or explaining principles; as, an elementary writer.


Compounded of elements or first principles.

EL'E-MI, n.

A resin commonly supposed to be produced both by Amyris Plumieri and Balsamodendron Zeylanicum, the former a plant of the Antilles, the latter of Ceylon. It is obtained from incisions in the bark. It is suffered to harden in the sun.

E-LENCH', n. [L. elenchus; Gr. ελεγχος, from ελεγχω, to argue, refute.]

  1. A vicious or fallacious argument, which is apt to deceive under the appearance of truth; a sophism. [Little used.] Brown.
  2. In antiquity, a kind of earring set with pearls. Encyc.


Pertaining to an elench.


By means of a elench. [Not in use.] Brown.


To dispute. [Not in use.] B. Jonson.

EL'E-PHANT, n. [Sax. elp, ylp; Gr. ελεφας; L. elephas, elephantus; probably from the Heb. אלף, a leader or chief, the chief or great animal.]

  1. The popular name of a genus of pachydermatous mammalia, comprehending two species, viz. Elephas Indicus and Elephas Africanus, the former inhabiting India, the latter Africa. They are among the largest quadrupeds at present existing.
  2. Ivory; the tusk of the elephant. Dryden.


The popular name of the Scarabæus Elephas of Turton's Linnæus, a beetle inhabiting Guinea.

EL-E-PHANT-I'A-SIS, n. [L. and Gr. from ελεφας, elephant.]

A disease of the skin, often confounded with leprosy, from which nevertheless it is quite distinct. In this disease, the thin is thick, livid, rugose, tuberculate; insensible as respects feeling; eyes fierce and staring; perspiration highly offensive. J. M. Good.


  1. Pertaining to the elephant; huge; resembling an elephant; or perhaps white, like ivory.
  2. In antiquity, an appellation given to certain books in which the Romans registered the transactions of the senate, magistrates, emperors and generals; so called, perhaps, as being made of ivory.
  3. In gealogy, the elephantine epoch is that in which there was a preponderance of large pachydermata. Mantell.


Having the form of an elephant.


The proposed popular name of the several species of Elephantopus, of which it is a translation. These are mostly tropical plants.