Definition of fairy in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘The fairies not only love human frailty, but also are ardent and devoted lovers of the forest.’
    • ‘She was beautiful Gaia-she almost reminded him of one of those fairies or magical creatures he had heard about in stories.’
    • ‘The female fairy flew up and grabbed his hair and pulled on it impatiently.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Shakespeare's magical tale of fairies and Amazon queens has been transported to a sort of New France of the imagination.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His mother, a fairy queen wept, which was almost unheard for a fairy to show such human emotions.’
    • ‘In the past when the humans and fairies could get along it was all written down in books, it once was history then it became legend then myth then now it's become stories to entertain children.’
    • ‘Articulations of disbelief were passed on and shared by community members much like, and together with, stories and beliefs that affirmed the reality of the fairies and the powers of fairy healers.’
    • ‘Why did I and my sister and the girl who lived in the house at the back, as well as the one whose father kept chickens in the balcony, like to read about goblins and trolls and fairies?’
    • ‘I love magical things like fairies and goblins.’
    • ‘It is a part of growing up and I am sure all of us have been fed on stories of ghosts, monsters and fairies when we were children, but as we mature into adults, these beliefs will definitely wear out.’
    • ‘Before our modern era most people who had encounters knew that what they were dealing with were daemons, dragons, gnomes, fairies and trolls.’
    • ‘The fairy that lost its power made one final wish on those stars.’
    • ‘That moment could not have been more magical even if a fairy had flitted by.’
    • ‘The fairies use their powers to do the jobs of the creatures that would usually live there.’
    • ‘Because some fairies hate humans and half fairies, they hate humans because they cast us out of our natural homes above ground.’
    • ‘Ghosts, monsters, fairies, UFOs and tales of all things supernatural are wanted for a new book on the subject.’
    • ‘One day Lucen was carrying a large load of wood to her work building with a few other female fairies.’
    • ‘The book is based on the story of a crafty 12-year-old Irish boy who is immersed in a world of fairies, leprechauns and gnomes.’
    sprite, pixie, elf, imp, brownie, puck
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  • 2A Central and South American hummingbird with a green back and long tail.

    Genus Heliothryx, family Trochilidae: two species

    • ‘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.’
  • 3informal, offensive A male homosexual.


  • away with the fairies

    • informal Giving the impression of being mad, distracted, or in a dreamworld.

      • ‘Dude, are we practicing tonight or not, or are you going to spend all night away with the fairies?’
      • ‘Even fellas in the Garda College said to me that they thought I was away with the fairies.’
      • ‘At present the Government seems to be away with the fairies, ‘Healy-Rae said.’’
      • ‘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!’’
      • ‘My prone body would lie limp, my mental faculties away with the fairies with no estimated time of return.’
      • ‘People who go around spreading malicious lies that this is a rural issue are away with the fairies.’
      • ‘It is all about tactics and you have to concentrate, but I used to be away with the fairies.’
      • ‘When I woke up at 7: 45 the next morning I went down to breakfast to find out JC and the others had all but broken the door down to get in to wake me up but I was away with the fairies.’
      • ‘His rescuers, who were thinking to themselves - ‘It's too late for him now anyway, as he's away with the fairies already!’’
      • ‘I know that he is routinely described as being of a ‘fragile’ sensibility, and l know I should make allowances, but dear me, he really was away with the fairies.’
      • ‘They are both really quirky - Clark can be away with the fairies sometimes and Astel always thinks he's right.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I did and the soothing sensations again lulled me away with the fairies.’
      • ‘The mystical spin on real-life political tragedy may have worked in the original novel, but here, defying tyrants while being away with the fairies just doesn't work.’
      • ‘Most of friends think that my interest is quite apt, most of them think I'm away with the fairies anyway!’
      • ‘I ran two red lights yesterday and was completely away with the fairies.’
      • ‘We were at the Greyfisher having a leaving do for Donna, Sy's boss, when the clock struck midnight and Sy was already WELL away with the fairies!’
      severely mentally ill, mentally ill, insane, mad, certifiable, deranged, demented, of unsound mind, out of one's mind, not in one's right mind, not together, crazed, maniac, maniacal, lunatic, unbalanced, unhinged, unstable, disturbed, distracted, stark mad, manic, frenzied, raving, distraught, frantic, hysterical, delirious, mad as a hatter, mad as a march hare
      View synonyms


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.