• WordNet 3.6
    • n fairy a small being, human in form, playful and having magical powers
    • n fairy offensive term for an openly homosexual man
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Fairies Fairies
The angry fairy The angry fairy
The fairy and the king The fairy and the king
Fairy with ugly baby Fairy with ugly baby
FromMy Book of Favourite Fairy Tales FromMy Book of Favourite Fairy Tales
From Children's Stories from Italian Fairy Tales From Children's Stories from Italian Fairy Tales

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Mexican version of the Tooth Fairy is known as the Tooth Mouse, which takes the tooth and leaves treasures in its place
    • Fairy An enchantress. "No goblin or swart fairy of the mine Hath hurtful power over true virginity."
    • Fairy An imaginary supernatural being or spirit, supposed to assume a human form (usually diminutive), either male or female, and to meddle for good or evil in the affairs of mankind; a fay. See Elf, and Demon. "The fourth kind of spirit [is] called the Fairy .""And now about the caldron sing,
      Like elves and fairies in a ring."
    • Fairy Enchantment; illusion. "The God of her has made an end,
      And fro this worlde's fairy Hath taken her into company."
    • Fairy Given by fairies; as, fairy money.
    • Fairy Of or pertaining to fairies.
    • Fairy The country of the fays; land of illusions. "He [Arthur] is a king y-crowned in Fairy ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Colgate claims "Tooth Fairy" as a registered trademark.
    • n fairy Enchantment; magic.
    • n fairy An imaginary being or spirit, generally represented as of a diminutive and graceful human form, but capable of assuming any other, and as playing pranks, frolicsome, kindly, mischievous, or spiteful, on human beings or among themselves; a fay.
    • n fairy Fays collectively; fairy folk.
    • n fairy Fairy-land; elf-land.
    • n fairy An enchantress.
    • n fairy Synonyms Fairy, Elf, Fay; Sylph, Gnome; Jinn, Genie; Goblin. Fairy is the most general name for a diminutive imaginary being, generally in human form, sometimes very benevolent or inclined to teach moral lessons, as the fairy godmother of Cinderella; sometimes malevolent in the extreme, as in many fairy stories. Spenser took up the word in Chaucer's spelling, faerie or faery, and gave it an extended meaning, which is now commonly confined to that spelling and to his poem; the personages in “The Faery Queene” live in an unlocated region, essentially like the rest of the world, and are of heroic and occasionally supernatural powers; these personages he sometimes calls elves or elfins. In ordinary use an elf differs from a fairy only in generally seeming young, and being more often mischievous. Pope, in “The Rape of the Lock,” has given a definite cast to sylph and gnome; these two words are elsewhere often associated, gnomes having always been fabled as living in underground abodes, and especially as being the guardians of mines and quarries, while sylphs are denizens of the air. From this difference of place it has followed that gnomes are generally thought of with repugnance or dread, and sylphs, although of both sexes in literature, are popularly thought of as young, slender, and graceful females: hence the expression “a sylph-like form.” To Oriental imagination is due the jinn, djinn, or jinnee; the form genie is most vividly associated with the “Arabian Nights”: as, the genie of Aladdin's lamp; the genie that the fisherman let out of the bottle. A goblin is wicked, mischievous, or at least roguish, and frightful or grotesque in appearance. See the definitions of kobold, sylph, brownie, banshee, sprite, pixie, nixie, nymph, etc.
    • fairy Pertaining to or in some manner connected with fairies; done by or coming from fairies. See phrases below.
    • fairy Resembling in some way a fairy; hence, fanciful, graceful, whimsical, fantastic, etc.: as, fairy creatures or favors.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Cotton candy's original name was "fairy fluff."
    • n Fairy fār′i an imaginary being, generally of diminutive and graceful human form, capable of kindly or unkindly acts towards man: fairy-folk collectively: an enchantress, or creature of overpowering charm
    • adj Fairy like a fairy, fanciful, whimsical, delicate
    • ***


  • Sir James M. Barrie
    “Every time a child says, I don't believe in fairies, there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead.”
  • George Santayana
    “Religions are the great fairy tales of conscience.”
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
    “I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.”
  • Alexandre Dumas
    Alexandre Dumas
    “Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales whose gates are guarded by dragons: we must fight in order to conquer it.”
  • Eliza Cook
    Eliza Cook
    “Why should we strive, with cynic frown, to knock their fairy castles down?”
  • Hans Christian Anderson
    Hans Christian Anderson
    “Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's finger.”


Away with the fairies - If someone is away with the fairies, they don't face reality and have unrealistic expectations of life.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. fairie, faierie, enchantment, fairy folk, fairy, OF. faerie, enchantment, F. féer, fr. LL. Fata, one of the goddesses of fate. See Fate, and cf. Fay a fairy


In literature:

Also if you are a king and do not invite the wicked fairy to your christening parties, she will come all the same.
"The Magic World" by Edith Nesbit
She was surely a fairy.
"The Blue Bird for Children" by Georgette Leblanc
The fairy was gone, and, stranger still, the bright beautiful book, with its butterflies and fairies, was gone too.
"Little Folks (December 1884)" by Various
Then she turned to the fairy and upbraided her in unmeasured language.
"A Budget of Christmas Tales by Charles Dickens and Others" by Various
Once upon a time there lived a Fairy who had power over the earth, the sea, fire, and the air; and this Fairy had four sons.
"The Yellow Fairy Book" by Leonora Blanche Alleyne Lang
The fairy touched her with the wand.
"A Modern Cinderella" by Amanda M. Douglas
I'm plumb tickled I giv Plutiny thet fairy cross.
"Heart of the Blue Ridge" by Waldron Baily
But, Fairy or no Fairy, she's much too familiar.
"In Brief Authority" by F. Anstey
Celtic Fairy Tales, J. Jacobs.
"Scouting For Girls, Official Handbook of the Girl Scouts" by Girl Scouts
Remember that I'm a fairy, and fairies can't be killed so easily as you seem to think.
"Twinkle and Chubbins" by L. Frank (Lyman Frank) Baum

In poetry:

'Twas all about a little thing
I made a mystery of sound,
I found it in a fairy ring
Upon a fairy mound.
"The Find" by Francis Ledwidge
And then--for it is written
Fairies can do such things--
Upon the startled kitten
She stuck the yellow wings.
"A Serious Question" by Carolyn Wells
Her little hands an tiny feet,
Wod mak yo think shoo'd been
Browt up wi' little fairy fowk
To be a fairy queen.
"My Polly" by John Hartley
Legends and songs of Happy Isles
And fairy realms a-far
Beyond the windless gates of dawn
And the white morning star!
"A Shining Ship" by Harry Kemp
I see my neighbours shudder,
And whisper as I pass:
“Three nights the fairies stole him;
He trod on sleeping grass."
"The Man Who Trod On Sleeping Grass" by Dora Sigerson Shorter
Who would hear the fairy horn
Calling all the hounds of Finn
Must be in a lark's nest born
When the moon is very thin.
"A Fairy Hunt" by Francis Ledwidge

In news:

Are new raft of fairy tale films and TV shows fair to their female characters.
Three Fairy Tales (Daniil Trifonov, piano) Mendelssohn: String Quartet, Op 80 (Calder Quartet) Stravinsky: Duo Concertant (Leonidas Kavakos, violin.
A hilarious take on the fairy tale "Cinderella" will be performed by a troupe of young actors at the Red Clay Theatre for six performances beginning today.
Eliza Rickman is an L.A.-based folk singer but she very well could have been plucked straight out of a dark, twisted fairy tale.
The fairy-tale movie is "trending" at present, with promise of all sorts of bandwagoning rubbish to come, but Mirror Mirror, one of 2012's two Snow White films, is an enjoyable exception.
Mirror Mirror and fairy-tale revisionism .
Without historical revisionism , all sorts of fairy tales would endure forevermore.
Fairy gardens bring whimsy, imagination to landscape.
Not everything is as it seems, especially when Missoula Children's Theatre puts its trademark twist on a classic fairy tale.
), features a song by Fever Ray, or Karin Dreijer Andersson of The Knife, titled "The Wolf," which perfectly demonstrates the dark, sexy twist on the fairy tale remake.
Kicking off a Hollywood trend of fairy-tale reboots that put the Grimm back into their nature is "Red Riding Hood ".
France reclaims a fairy tale to depict a girl's erotic awakening.
Kicking off a Hollywood trend of fairy-tale reboots that put the Grimm back into their nature is "Red Riding Hood".
In the first of two performances of Rossini 's La Cenerentola (Cinderella), the long-suffering fairy tale heroine was transported to Hollywood, 1933.
The Fairy Godmother Never Came Paula Rubino's girls would rather be reading.

In science:

Thus he says that the discs that the RDA needs are ‘the metaphysical equivalent of fairies, ghosts and vital spirits’ (p. 26).
On the Persistence of Homogeneous Matter
The significance of this date should be clear: it is the anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen, the master of fairy tales.
Avatars of a Matter-Antimatter Universe
Actually, with regard to the CSPRTs on composite and simple hypotheses proposed in Sections 4.2 and 4.3, the termination properties are valid under fairy general assumptions, as asserted by the following results.
Consecutive Sequential Probability Ratio Tests of Multiple Statistical Hypotheses