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Sylph   /sɪlf/   Listen
Sylph

noun
1.
A slender graceful young woman.
2.
An elemental being believed to inhabit the air.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Sylph" Quotes from Famous Books



... sylph out of the air, and she had returned again whence she came. She had moved awhile about certain ever sacred rooms, and as she moved she had hummed a little song, which was her life; she had touched certain objects, she had written her name in some books, ...
— The Romance of Zion Chapel [3d ed.] • Richard Le Gallienne

... lofty elder tree! Through the calm and frosty air Of this morning bright and fair, Eddying round and round they sink Softly, slowly: one might think From the motions that are made, Every little leaf conveyed Sylph or fairy hither tending, To this lower world descending, Each invisible and mute, In his wavering parachute. But the kitten, how she starts, Crouches, stretches, paws and darts! First at one and then its fellow, ...
— The Posy Ring - A Book of Verse for Children • Various

... is the most universal, as it is certainly the most sociable, of all fashionable dances. It admits of pleasant conversation, frequent interchange of partners, and is adapted to every age. The young or old, the ponderous paterfamilias or his sylph-like daughter, may with equal propriety take part in its easy and elegant figures. Even an occasional blunder is of less consequence in this dance than in many others; for each personage is in some degree free as to his own movements, not being compelled by the continual embrace ...
— Routledge's Manual of Etiquette • George Routledge

... to New Thought literature, pays for a course of lectures, and goes forth into the ranks of the unbelievers, proclaiming her power to become a sylph, and to cause others to ...
— The Heart of the New Thought • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... charge, at the time this story begins, was a girl just arrived at young ladyhood, and her name was Mary. Now we know that people very seldom have stories written about them who have not sylph-like forms, and glorious eyes, or, at least, "a certain inexpressible charm diffused over their whole person." But stories have of late so much abounded that they actually seem to have used up all the eyes, hair, teeth, lips, and forms ...
— The May Flower, and Miscellaneous Writings • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... now, blushing Claire? Maid of the sylph-like air, Blooming and debonair, Whither so early? Chasing the merry morn, Down through the golden corn? List'ning the hunter's ...
— Hesperus - and Other Poems and Lyrics • Charles Sangster

... white-shafted ternlet (STERNA SINENSIS), the most sylph-like of birds, with others of the family, ever on the look-out, follow in circling, screaming mobs the disturbance on the surface of the sea caused by small fish vainly endeavouring to elude the crafty bonito and porpoise, and take ample supplies to the ever-hungry young. ...
— The Confessions of a Beachcomber • E J Banfield

... coral lips, Ears and nostrils, crystal-clear, Dainty, sea-shell finger tips, Form, a sylph ...
— Mother Truth's Melodies - Common Sense For Children • Mrs. E. P. Miller

... of the room, as light-footed as a sylph, and fascinating as one of the graces, she began to dance, raising her feet and moving her arms in a slow, measured mariner, at the outset; but, turning more rapidly, with more passionate movement and increasing ardor, her countenance grew more glowing and animated. Her large black eyes flashed ...
— NAPOLEON AND BLUCHER • L. Muhlbach

... proof. Paternal affection, family pride, the noble instincts to reinstate yourself in the castle of your ancestors, all demand the step. And when you have seen the lady! She has the figure and motions of a sylph, the face of an angel, the eye of love itself. What a sight she is crossing the lawn on a sunny afternoon, or gliding airily along the corridors of the old place the De Stancys knew so well! Her lips are the softest, reddest, most distracting things you ever saw. Her hair is as ...
— A Laodicean • Thomas Hardy

... quadrille, the waltz succeeds the schottish, the scene presents one bewildering maze of flaunting gossamers and girating bodies, now floating sylph-like into the foreground, then whirling seductively into the shadowy vista, where the joyous laugh dies out in the din of voices. The excitement has seized upon the head and heart of the young,—the child who stood trembling between the first and second downward step finds ...
— Justice in the By-Ways - A Tale of Life • F. Colburn Adams

... seventeen summers and her lovely face, the most extravagant little doll in the whole city, and that is not saying a little, but the most elegant, charming—a perfect sylph! It was now about eleven months since I had first become acquainted with the bewitching creature; and, from the very first day, I had been her vassal, her slave, bound by chains as adamantine as those of Armida. She had just left the French ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXLV. July, 1844. Vol. LVI. • Various

... is on the gale, Her step upon the wold; And morning diamonds brightly gem Her braided locks of gold. Far up the pine-wood glen, Her sylph-like form is seen, By hunter in the hazy dawn, Or wandering ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume V. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... This sylph-like person had little in common with a monstrous lady whose adventures in the wildernes Phelps was fond of relating. She was built some thing on the plan of the mountains, and her ambition to explore was equal to her size. Phelps and the other guides once succeeded in ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... understand, was unbounded. For example, Miss Arabella Pope of Norfolk, in Virginia,—and did I know her? No, I had not that pleasure, though I assured him the Popes of Virginia were famed. Miss Pope danced divinely as any sylph, and the very memory of her tripping at the Norfolk Assembly roused the captain to such a pitch of enthusiasm as I had never seen in him. Marvellous to say, his own words failed him, and he had recourse ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... long the two vessels lay abreast within easy hail. The brig, with her fine lines and her white sails, looked vaporous and sylph-like in the moonlight. The gunboat, short, squat, with her stumpy dark spars naked like dead trees, raised against the luminous sky of that resplendent night, threw a heavy shadow on the lane of ...
— 'Twixt Land & Sea • Joseph Conrad

... the steps of the dancers became quicker, their gestures more animated, the play of their limbs more voluptuous. With the exception of one couple, every glance and movement of the performers seemed directed or aimed at the Caliph. This couple consisted of the most sylph-like and exquisitely formed of the four female dancers, and of a Persian warrior, who was pursuing her, and from whom she strove coyly to escape. With admirable grace and skill did these two figures detach themselves from their companions, in order to continue ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 57, No. 352, February 1845 • Various

... persisted throughout life, it never became a complete perversion and never replaced the normal end of sexual desire. His love for Madam Parangon, one of the deepest emotions in his whole life, was also the climax of his shoe-fetichism. She represented his ideal woman, an ethereal sylph with wasp-waist and a child's feet; it was always his highest praise for a woman that she resembled Madame Parangon, and he desired that her slipper should be buried with him. (Restif de la Bretonne, Monsieur Nicolas, vols. i-iv, ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 5 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... his travels or whether it was the result of trouble, who can say? He looked at the little lady, she looked at him, and he felt that he was melting; but he remained steadfast, with his gun at his shoulder. Suddenly a door opened, the draught caught up the little Dancer, and off she flew like a sylph to the Tin-soldier in the stove, burst into flames—and that was the end of her! Then the Tin-soldier melted down into a little lump, and when next morning the maid was taking out the ashes, she found him in the shape ...
— The Yellow Fairy Book • Various

... few bottles having ambitious labels, and a wash-sink in one corner. On the walls were the bright yellow and black handbills of a traveling circus, with pictures of acrobats in human pyramids, horses flying in long leaps through the air, and sylph-like women in a paradisaic costume, balancing themselves upon the tips of their toes on the bare backs of frantic and plunging steeds, and kissing their hands ...
— The Gilded Age, Part 4. • Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) and Charles Dudley Warner

... life I lead! Honorine is my real concern. To recover my wife is my only study; to guard her in her cage, without her suspecting that she is in my power; to satisfy her needs, to supply the little pleasure she allows herself, to be always about her like a sylph without allowing her to see or to suspect me, for if she did, the future would be lost,—that is my life, my true life.—For seven years I have never gone to bed without going first to see the light of her night-lamp, or her ...
— Honorine • Honore de Balzac

... exclaimed the laird. "Why, man, sylph-like though she appears, she has got the health of an Amazon. No, no, there's nothing wrong with my niece, save in the imagination of my sister. We will stop at this cottage for a few minutes. I want to see one of my men, ...
— The Eagle Cliff • R.M. Ballantyne

... easily spare the four sylph-like Misses Clipper, for with them vanished all hopes of delicious music in the evening. Ah, that was music! The way they played together the "Taking of Tel-el- Kebir" took us by storm. The silent march through the dead of night, the charge, the cheers, the uncertain rifle fire, ...
— Twixt France and Spain • E. Ernest Bilbrough

... a second he doubted who she was—more lovely than he had imagined her even in his dreams—she stood there, human and warm and real, who had begun to seem a myth, clad in gauzy transparent stuff that made no secret of sylph-like shapeliness and looking nearly light enough to blow away. Her feet—and they were the most marvelously molded things he had ever seen—were naked and played restlessly on the naked stone. Not one part of her was still for a fraction ...
— King—of the Khyber Rifles • Talbot Mundy

... the woman whose relations with Mme. de Sevigne were the most intimate was Mme. de Coulanges, who merits here more than a passing word. Her wit was proverbial, her popularity universal. The Leaf, the Fly, the Sylph, the Goddess, her friend calls her in turn, with many a light thrust at her volatile but loyal character. This brilliant, spirituelle, caustic woman was the wife of a cousin of the Marquis de Sevigne, who was as witty as herself and more inconsequent. ...
— The Women of the French Salons • Amelia Gere Mason

... there again sighted the enemy; but a heavy westerly gale drove both squadrons to the lower end of the lake, where each entered its own harbor on the 19th. August 29 the American put out again, having an additional newly built schooner, named the "Sylph," large and fast, carrying three or four long 32-pounders. Chauncey reported that he had now nine vessels with ninety-one guns, but that the enemy was still superior. In number of guns, possibly; but it is difficult to accept the statement otherwise, except ...
— Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812 - Volume 2 • Alfred Thayer Mahan

... sylph such as Miss Le Pettit, however, and she caught hold of Loveday like the good-natured, rather romping, young lady that she was. Mrs. Veale always said of her that she would "fine down," but persons less well disposed to her than her own mother, and who were the mothers of daughters themselves, ...
— The White Riband - A Young Female's Folly • Fryniwyd Tennyson Jesse

... occasional rasher, and an egg on special occasions: say on her birthday. Dinner in the middle of the day, one course and nothing else. In the evening, tea and bread-and-butter again. You compare her with your Englishwomen who wolf down from three to five meat meals a day; and naturally you find her a sylph. The difference is not a difference of type: it's the difference between the woman who eats not wisely but too well, and the woman who eats not wisely ...
— John Bull's Other Island • George Bernard Shaw

... The fascinating sylph, Madeleine Guimard, broke almost as many hearts and inspired as many duels as the charming Sophie Arnould herself. Plain even to ugliness, and excessively thin, her exquisite dancing and splendid eyes made great havoc among her ...
— Great Singers, First Series - Faustina Bordoni To Henrietta Sontag • George T. Ferris

... the sylph—like girl, and in a twinkling reappeared with the desired garment, which in a convulsion of laughter she slipped over my head as I sat on the floor; and having fastened it properly round my waist, I rose and paid my respects ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... considered to be incompatible with perfect grace, I agree with those who regard it as decidedly preferable to an excessive thinness, though the latter be accompanied with the lightness of a zephyr, and the grace of a sylph. ...
— Venus in Boston; - A Romance of City Life • George Thompson

... friends, saying, "They're going to fire it as soon as we round the point"; and presently a dull boom, as of a small piece of ordnance discharged in the neighborhood of the hotel, struck through the gathering fog, and this elderly sylph clapped her hands and exulted: "They've fired it, they've fired it! and now the captain will blow the whistle in answer." But the captain did nothing of the kind, and the lady, after some more girlish effervescence, upbraided him for an old owl ...
— A Chance Acquaintance • W. D. Howells

... can interpret the symbol expressed by the wings of the air-sylph forming within the case of the caterpillar? Only he who feels in his own soul the same instinct which impels the horned fly to leave room in its involucrum for antennae yet to come." Such a man knows and feels that ...
— The English Governess At The Siamese Court • Anna Harriette Leonowens

... Sent by a sylph, unheard, unseen A new-year's gift from Mab our queen: But tell it not, for if you do, You will be pinch'd all black and blue. Consider well, what a disgrace, To show abroad your mottled face Then seal your lips, put on the ring, ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole Volume 3 • Horace Walpole

... A perfect little sylph, resting on the tiniest of feet, with hands so charming that you would feel an almost irresistible desire to fold them caressingly within your own—the rich complexion of a brunette with the bloom of Hebe on her cheek—her hair like burnished jet—eyes large, lustrous and black—but ...
— Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXXII No. 4, April 1848 • Various

... although I have assisted at several New-York balls, I have met two countenances only throughout the whole galaxy of beauty that, in dancing the Waltz, have indicated either joy or undisturbed gratification: the one, is that of a little sylph-like beam of pleasure, who might well carry upon her beautiful hair, 'unincumbered lots,' as her wedding-portion; who gains our hearts while she laughs at us; and who, because I chance to be within half a score of her father's years, ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, January 1844 - Volume 23, Number 1 • Various

... willows That overhung the sea, And as she view'd the billows, She moan'd most piteously; The storm in all its rigour Swept the bosom of the main, And shook the sylph-like ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... way from the station, and indeed all the way from New York, he had pictured to himself Edith's sylph-like form running down the steps to meet him; had felt her warm hands in his, heard her sweet voice welcoming him home again, and the world around him was filled with daylight, but Edith was the sun which shone upon his darkness. She was ...
— Darkness and Daylight • Mary J. Holmes

... noted her artless grace and indifferent pose. That she had a burly millionaire husband who still was under her spell and watched her jealously only made her more interesting, and they pitied her for being tied to a man twice her age and bulky as a bale of cotton. She who could dance like a sylph and was light on her little feet as a thistle down. Though wise ones sometimes said that Opal had her young eyes wide open when she married Ed Verrons, and she had him right under her little pink well manicured thumb. And some said she was not nearly ...
— The City of Fire • Grace Livingston Hill

... fine, Purpled o'er those wings of thine? Was it some sylph whose tender care Spangled thy robes so fine and fair, And wove them of the morning air? I feel thy little throbbing heart. Thou fear'st, ...
— The Pedler of Dust Sticks • Eliza Lee Follen

... lifted from his brain, and were floating away, in the light of the sun of life; he felt the pressure of no duty—was like a bird of the air lying under its mother's wing, and dreaming of flight; his childhood's most cherished dream had grown fact: there was the sylph, the oriad, the naiad of all his dreams, a living lady before his eyes—nor the less a creature of his imagination's heart; from her, as the centre of power, had all the marvellous transformation proceeded; and the lovely strength had kissed him on the forehead! The soul of Cosmo floated ...
— Warlock o' Glenwarlock • George MacDonald

... bliss that screw'd around the ark of life Sweet flow'rs of summer hue. It hath the tone, The very tone which wrapt my spirit up, In silent dreams mid visions. Oft, at eve, I heard it wandering thro' the silver air, As if some sylph had witch'd the stringed shell Of woods and lonely fountains:—and the birds That sang in the blue glow of heaven, the trees That whisper'd like a timid maiden's lips, The bees that kiss'd their bride-flow'rs into sleep, All breath'd the ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 14, - Issue 386, August 22, 1829 • Various

... the credit of writing the first English opera, strictly so called, since Arne's 'Artaxerxes.' 'The Mountain Sylph,' which was produced in 1834, fulfils all the requirements of the operatic form. It is besides a work of genuine charm and power, and retained its ...
— The Opera - A Sketch of the Development of Opera. With full Descriptions - of all Works in the Modern Repertory • R.A. Streatfeild

... and Jack Templeton, young American lads, meet each other in an unusual way soon after the declaration of war. Circumstances place them on board the British cruiser, "The Sylph," and from there on, they share adventures with the sailors of the Allies. Ensign Robert L. Drake, the author, is an experienced naval officer, and he describes admirably the many exciting adventures of the ...
— Betty Vivian - A Story of Haddo Court School • L. T. Meade

... will imagine some music-loving sylph attempting to guide the wind among the strings of an Aeolian harp, every now and then for a moment succeeding, and then again for a while the wind having its own way, he will gain, I think, something like a dream-notion of the man's playing. Mary tried hard to get hold of some clew to the combinations ...
— Mary Marston • George MacDonald

... peach by the sun, but so as to improve rather than impair its hue; eyes bright, laughing, and blue as a summer sky; ripe, ruddy lips, and pearly teeth; and hair of a light and glossy brown, constituted the sum of her attractions. Her sylph-like figure was charmingly displayed by the graceful exercise on which she was engaged, and her small hands, seemingly scarcely able to grasp an oar, impelled the skiff forwards with marvellous velocity, and apparently without much exertion on ...
— Windsor Castle • William Harrison Ainsworth



Words linked to "Sylph" :   adult female, imaginary being, woman, imaginary creature



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