Definition of fairy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfɛːri/

noun (plural fairies)

1A small imaginary being of human form that has magical powers, especially a female one: she believed she had had fairies at the bottom of her garden [as modifier]: fairy gold
More example sentences
  • I love magical things like fairies and goblins.
  • The fairies occupied the land in many parts of the world, yet just like the multiple races of humans or demons, fairies have several of their own.
  • It says everything your inner child wants to hear: believe in fairies and the powers of the imagination; and no matter how bad real life can become, you can always visit Neverland.
sprite, pixie, elf, imp, brownie, puck;
dwarf, gnome, goblin, hobgoblin, troll;
Scottish Folklore  kelpie;
Irish Folklore  leprechaun, pishogue, Sidhe;
South African Folklore  tokoloshe;
Persian Mythology  peri
literary faerie, fay
rare nix, nixie, hob, elfin
2A Central and South American hummingbird with a green back and long tail.
  • Genus Heliothryx, family Trochilidae: two species.
Example sentences
  • Hummingbirds vary in size from a 21/4-in. (6-cm) fairy hummingbird of Cuba (the smallest of all birds) to an 81/2-in. (21.6-cm) giant hummer of the Andes, Patagona gigas.
3 informal, offensive A male homosexual.


away with the fairies

British informal Giving the impression of being mad, distracted, or in a dreamworld.
Example sentences
  • My prone body would lie limp, my mental faculties away with the fairies with no estimated time of return.
  • The Fairy Ring was established five years ago after the founder of the National Fairy Appreciation Society folded her group - ‘she went away with the fairies,’ quipped Susan.
  • While he was gone, we spoke to his wife - he'd just had a hip replacement operation, and was just coming off the morphine. ‘You should have seen him, he was away with the fairies!’



Pronunciation: /ˈfɛːrɪˌlʌɪk/
Example sentences
  • Small fountains and courtyards drew her in; they seemed, in Guinevere's imagination, small pieces of another world; fairylike, ornate, and delicate.
  • Driving back we got the same thrill we always do at seeing Butte at night… It is so fairylike with its twinkling lights and so startling in a black wilderness.
  • Please take a brief walk back in time with me, as I share with you a bit of history about the exquisite, fairylike Rocky Mountain columbine.


Middle English (denoting fairyland, or fairies collectively): from Old French faerie, from fae, 'a fairy', from Latin fata 'the Fates', plural of fatum (see fate). Compare with fay.

  • Although we now think of fairies as small, delicate creatures they come from a powerful source—Latin fata ‘the Fates’ ( see fate). The old spelling faerie is first recorded in The Faerie Queene, the title of a poem by Edmund Spenser celebrating Queen Elizabeth I (the figure of the ‘Faerie Queene’ herself was taken to stand for Elizabeth). Faerie was originally the collective form of the word, with fae or nowadays fay as the singular.

Words that rhyme with fairy

airy, Azeri, canary, carabinieri, Carey, Cary, chary, clary, contrary, dairy, Dari, faerie, glairy, glary, Guarneri, hairy, lairy, miserere, nary, Nyerere, prairie, Salieri, scary, Tipperary, vary, wary

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fairy

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