Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A fairy or an elf.
  • transitive & intransitive verb To join or fit closely or tightly.
  • noun Faith.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To cleanse; clean out, as a ditch.
  • To join; put together; fit together; frame.
  • Specifically
  • To fit (two pieces of timber) together, so as to lie close and fair; fit.
  • To put to; apply so as to touch or cover.
  • To fit; suit; unite closely. Specifically
  • In ship-building, to fit or lie close together, as two pieces of wood. Thus, a plank is said to fay to the timbers when there is no perceptible space between them.
  • To suit the requirements of the case; be fit for the purpose; do.
  • noun A fairy; an elf. See fairy.
  • noun Synonyms Elf, etc. See fairy.
  • noun Faith; fidelity; loyalty.
  • About to die; fated; doomed; particularly, on the verge of a sudden or violent death.
  • Dying; dead.
  • noun A Middle English form of foe.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A fairy; an elf.
  • noun obsolete Faith.
  • intransitive verb (Shipbuilding) To lie close together; to fit; to fadge; -- often with in, into, with, or together.
  • intransitive verb that surface of an object which comes with another object to which it is fastened; -- said of plates, angle irons, etc., that are riveted together in shipwork.
  • transitive verb (Shipbuilding) To fit; to join; to unite closely, as two pieces of wood, so as to make the surface fit together.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A fairy; an elf.
  • verb dialectal To cleanse; clean out.
  • verb To fit.
  • verb To join or unite closely or tightly.
  • verb To lie close together.
  • verb To fadge.
  • noun US slang A white person.
  • adjective US slang White.

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

  • noun a small being, human in form, playful and having magical powers

Etymologies

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

[Middle English faie, enchanted person or place, from Old French fae; see fairy.]

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

[Middle English feien, from Old English fēgan; see pag- in Indo-European roots.]

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

[Middle English fai, from Anglo-Norman fei, fed; see faith.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English faie, fei ("a place or person possessed with magical properties"), from Middle French feie, fee ("fairy", "fae"). More at fairy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English fegien, fæien ("to cleanse"), from Old Norse fægja ("to cleanse, polish"), from Proto-Germanic *fēgijanan (“to decorate, make beautiful”), from Proto-Indo-European *pōḱ-, *pēḱ- (“to clean, adorn”). Cognate with Swedish feja ("to sweep"), Danish feje ("to sweep"), German fegen ("to cleanse, scour, sweep"), Dutch vegen ("to sweep, strike"). More at feague, fake, fair.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English feyen, feien, from Old English fēġan ("to join, unite"), from Proto-Germanic *fōgijanan (“to join”), from Proto-Germanic *fōgō (“joint, slot”), from Proto-Indo-European *paḱ- (“to fasten, place”). Akin to Old Frisian fōgia "to join", Old Saxon fōgian "to join" (Dutch voegen "to place"), Old High German fuogen "to connect" (German fügen "to connect"), Old English fōn "to catch". More at fang.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Abbreviation of ofay.

Examples

Comments

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  • fay a little used (obsolete), but perhaps more appropriate word for faith: seems more a verb than a noun: was its usage diminished or lost during the enlightenment when we changed much into nouns from verbs: “Sirrah, by my fay, it waxes late�? (Shakespeare).

    January 16, 2007

  • Breathing hurts in weather that cold, but whatever the problems of being winterbound in the City they put up with them because it is worth anything to be on Lenox Avenue safe from fays and the things they think up;

    —Toni Morrison, Jazz

    short for 'ofay', US black slang for a white person, of much-guessed etymology

    December 19, 2008