Part of speech: noun
Origin: French, mid-19th century
Enthusiastic spirit or vigor
Sophisticated style and flair
Examples of Élan in a sentence
"She was a star employee, showing enthusiasm for her work with great élan."
"She showed élan with her coordinated accessories and sophisticated fashion."
Popularity Over Time
"Élan" is a noun that means vigorous enthusiasm, but you might be forgiven for mistaking it for an adjective, because things are usually described as “with élan.” You do something with élan, but something is not AN élan.
Did you Know?
The accent on the “E” might be a giveaway, but this word for enthusiasm and spirit comes from French. Before English speakers started using "élan" for themselves, there was the word “elance,” meaning to hurl. That word fell out of style, but "élan" came about, still holding onto the energy of elance.