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]