noun \ˈfer-ē\
plural fair·ies

Definition of FAIRY

:  a mythical being of folklore and romance usually having diminutive human form and magic powers
usually disparaging :  a male homosexual
fairy adjective
fairy·like \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of FAIRY

  1. <fairies are part of the folklore of many countries and cultures>

Origin of FAIRY

Middle English fairie fairyland, enchantment, from Anglo-French faerie, from fee fairy, from Latin Fata, goddess of fate, from fatum fate
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Mythology and Folklore Terms

elysian, fay, muse, nimbus, phoenix


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In folklore, any of a race of supernatural beings who have magic powers and sometimes meddle in human affairs. Some have been described as of human size, while others are “little people” only a few inches high. The term was first used in medieval Europe. Fairy lore is especially common in Ireland, Cornwall, Wales, and Scotland. Though usually beneficent in modern children's stories, the fairies of the past were powerful and sometimes dangerous beings who could be friendly, mischievous, or cruel, depending on their whim. Fairies were thought to be beautiful, to live much longer than human beings, and to lack souls. They sometimes carried off human infants and left changelings as substitutes. They occasionally took human lovers, but to enter fairyland was perilous for humans, who were obliged to remain forever if they ate or drank there. See also leprechaun.


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