Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A tiny, mischievous, imaginary being; a fairy.
  • n. The land or realm of the fairies.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Archaic spelling of fairy.
  • n. Realm of the fays, fairyland.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Archaic forms of fairy: as, Spenser's Faery (or Faerie) Queene.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small being, human in form, playful and having magical powers
  • n. the enchanted realm of fairies

Etymologies

Middle English faierie, fairie; see fairy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French faerie; re-introduced into English in deliberately archaising spelling in 1590 by Edmund Spenser in authoring the Faerie Queene. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Anne's simple definition is that a faerie is a small manifestation of spirit from an alternate level of existence.

    Faeries Send a Message/Moneymakers Send One Too

  • The fay lived in groups called the faerie, between the heavenly and earthly realms.

    Excerpt: The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue

  • Without the mystery of what men call faerie, the world loses its depth.

    Greenmantle

  • This is the true definition of "faerie" lands and is the first sign of real mental development in the child when he is no longer content with the stories of his own little deeds and experiences, when his ear begins to appreciate sounds different from the words in his own everyday language, and when he begins to separate his own personality from the action of the story.

    The Art of the Story-Teller

  • Truly, my feet trod a path of "faerie," carpeted with soft mosses, a path winding along beside a river of shadows on whose dark tide stars were floating.

    My Lady Caprice

  • The true meaning of the word "faerie" is spiritual, but many stories masquerade under that title which have no claim to it.

    The Story Hour

  • This time we have the landscape of the night, the glamour of moon and stars, -- pictures half real and half unreal, mystic imaginings, fancies, dreams, and the enchantment of "faerie," and throughout the unanswered cry, the eternal "Wherefore" of destiny.

    The Poems of Emma Lazarus, Volume 2 Jewish poems: Translations

  • It should be noted that the imagery associated with the modern Santa Claus in the Dark Ages and Middle Ages often depicted a violent hairy man of the wild, also emblematic of various Pagan species of solitary fay (or "faerie"), before the modern, jolly image based on more benign imagery and archetypes took its place.

    The News is NowPublic.com - NowPublic.com: The News is Now Public

  • McGuire even provides a glossary for those having trouble with the faerie jargon.

    “Rosemary and Rue” by Seanan McGuire (Daw, 2009) « The BookBanter Blog

  • I wish we had the kind of room that Shady Acres has out at their farm, because they had the coolest "faerie garden" out there.

    Day in the Life of an Idiot

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