from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. in German mythology, a giant who preys on children
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A personification, in German and Scandinavian mythology, of a spirit or natural power supposed to work mischief and ruin, esp. to children.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In German and Scandinavian poetical mythology, a personified natural power which devises and works mischief, especially to children.
A part-translation of German Erlkönig literally ‘alder-king’, a mistranslation of Danish ellerkonge ‘king of the elves’. (Wiktionary)