from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A slim, graceful woman or girl.
- n. In the occult philosophy of Paracelsus, a being that has air as its element.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An invisible being of the air
- n. The elemental being of air, usually female.
- n. A slender woman or girl, usually graceful and sometimes with the implication of sublime station over everyday people.
- n. A mainly dark green and blue hummingbird, the male of which has a long forked tail.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An imaginary being inhabiting the air; a fairy.
- n. Fig.: A slender, graceful woman.
- n. Any one of several species of very brilliant South American humming birds, having a very long and deeply-forked tail.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An imaginary being inhabiting the air; an elemental spirit of the air, according to the system of Paracelsus, holding an intermediate place between material and immaterial beings.
- n. In ornithology, one of various humming-birds with long forficate tail: so called from their grace and beauty: as, the blue-tailed sylph, Cynanthus forficatus. See cut under sappho.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a slender graceful young woman
- n. an elemental being believed to inhabit the air
New Latin sylpha, perhaps blend of Latin sylvestris, of the forest (from silva, sylva, forest) and Latin nympha, nymph; see nymph.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in 1657. From New Latin sylphes, coined by Paracelsus in the 16th century. The coinage may derive from sylva and nympha. (Wiktionary)