fairy

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English fairie, from Old French faerie, the -erie abstract of fae, from Vulgar Latin Fāta (goddess of fate), from Latin fātum (fate)

English from ca. 1300, first in the sense of "enchantment, illusion, dream" and later "realm of the fays, fairy-land" or "the inhabitants of fairyland as a collective". The re-interpretation of the term as a countable noun denoting individual inhabitants of fairy-land can be traced to the 1390s, but becomes common only in the 16th century.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

fairy (plural fairies)

  1. (uncountable, obsolete) the realm of faerie; enchantment, illusion.
  2. A mythical being who had magical powers, known in many sizes and descriptions, although often depicted in modern illustrations only as small and spritely with gauze-like wings; A sprite.
  3. (Northern England, US, derogatory, colloquial) a male homosexual, especially one who is effeminate.
  4. (paganism) A nature spirit revered in modern paganism.
  5. Two species of hummingbird in the genus Heliothryx.

Synonyms[edit]

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Translations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]