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pix·​ie ˈpik-sē How to pronounce pixie (audio)
variants or less commonly pixy
plural pixies
: fairy
specifically : a cheerful mischievous sprite
: a usually petite vivacious woman or girl
or pixie cut : a haircut worn by women and children that is very short all over the head or especially short only at the sides and back of the head
Princess Diana's pixie cut became completely iconic, and almost as famous as the princess herself, inspiring many generations since to try the elegant look.Isobel Larkin
pixieish adjective


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variants or less commonly pixy
: playfully mischievous
pixiness noun

Did you know?

Is it pixelated or pixilated?

Pixelated is used to describe digital images in which individual pixels are discernable, as when you look closely at a large photo and can see the tiny dots that make up the image. Pixilated (coined from pixie, a pixie being a cheerful, mischievous sprite) is usually used to describe things considered whimsical, or people who seem dazed or lost in thought. While pixelated is a late 20th century coinage, pixilated has been in use since the mid-19th century.

Examples of pixie in a Sentence

Noun leave a dish of milk and some bread out for the pixies Adjective resorted to some pixie high jinks to liven up the office party
Recent Examples on the Web
The singer-songwriter, 38, debuted a show-stopping new hairstyle on Instagram on Monday, swapping her previously orange pixie cut for an ultra-long, firetruck-red ‘do. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 21 Nov. 2023 On the decision to cut off her long locks for a pixie cut in September, Hill knows that there was no better time. Hannah Jackson, Vogue, 15 Nov. 2023 On November 3, the 29-year-old singer debuted her spiky platinum blonde pixie cut and baby bangs on Instagram while wearing a cropped leather jacket and mini skirt set with a full face of their vegan makeup brand, About Face. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 4 Nov. 2023 On October 21, Kehlani posted two selfies of her vivid pixie on Instagram. Gabi Thorne, Allure, 24 Oct. 2023 She’s been the face of the sweet best friend, the face of manic pixie dream girls, even the face of the twee renaissance (and its current revival). Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 31 July 2023 While Ryan’s bountiful charm is as evident as ever, her character unfortunately comes across like an older version of the manic pixie dream girl. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Nov. 2023 Winona Ryder is the queen of the pixie cut, a striking red lip and a low-maintenance beauty routine. Hannah Coates, Vogue, 29 Oct. 2023 This pixie was chopped by mononym hairstyling legend Garren, who gave her delicate baby bangs to match the short chop. Margaux Anbouba, ELLE, 25 July 2023
But in a new post added to Instagram, Mayim decided to make a more dramatic and permanent switch to her hairstyle by chopping it off into a semi-pixie cut. Adrianna Freedman, Good Housekeeping, 30 Mar. 2023 The cute little 4-year-old boldly shouted when someone asked her where pixie dust comes from. San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 July 2022 Atop the pile, Tinker Bell sat waving, like a pixie Jackie Onassis. Neima Jahromi, The New Yorker, 23 May 2022 For all its sprinklings of pixie dust — a wiggly scorpion samba, a cyclone of flying pastries — the movie is often disconcertingly adult, and at the same time, largely unconcerned with welcoming in viewers not already steeped in the mythology. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 7 Apr. 2022 Revel, a kombucha brewery and tasting room, will release a pixie tangerine kombucha. Los Angeles Times, 3 Mar. 2022 Maurice is a genially bearish man, with curly brown hair, who looks like a brainier John Laroquette; Katia, with short hair and glasses and a vivacious grin, suggests a pixie version of Terry Gross. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 20 Jan. 2022 Goofy costumes, silly songs, colorful sets and a sprinkling of pixie dust never hurt anyone, and the ABC reality series has gone overboard this year with not just one, but two, Disney Nights. Mary Colurso | McOlurso@al.com, al, 12 Oct. 2021 Again a roof will greatly cut down the natural air circulation and ventilation, assuming that the roof is made out of solid material and not pixie dust. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 20 Sep. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pixie.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



origin unknown

First Known Use


circa 1636, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1943, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pixie was circa 1636

Dictionary Entries Near pixie

Cite this Entry

“Pixie.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pixie. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


variants also pixy
plural pixies
: a mischievous elf or fairy

More from Merriam-Webster on pixie

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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