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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Fairy


FA'IRY, noun

[The origin of this word is not obvious, and the radical letters are uncertain. the conjectures of Baxter, Jamieson and others throw no satisfactory light on the subject.]

1. A fay; an imaginary being or spirit, supposed to assume a human form, dance in meadows, steal infants and play a variety of pranks. [See Elf and Demon.]

2. An enchantress.

Fairy of the mine, an imaginary being supposed to inhabit mines, wandering about in the drifts and chambers, always employed in cutting ore, turning the windlass, etc., yet effecting nothing. The Germans believe in two species; one fierce and malevolent; the other gentle. [See Cobalt.]

Fairy ring or circle, a phenomenon observed in fields, vulgarly supposed to be caused by fairies in their dances. This circle is of two kinds; one about seven yards in diameter, containing a round bare path, a foot broad, with green grass in the middle; the other of different size, encompassed with grass.

FA'IRY, adjective

1. Belonging to fairies; as fairy land

2. Given by fairies; as fairy money or favors.