English from ca. 1300, first in the sense of "enchantment, illusion, dream" and later "realm of the fays, fairy-land" or "the inhabitants of fairyland as a collective". The re-interpretation of the term as a countable noun denoting individual inhabitants of fairy-land can be traced to the 1390s, but becomes common only in the 16th century.
fairy (plural fairies)
- (uncountable, obsolete) The realm of faerie; enchantment, illusion.
- A mythical being with magical powers, known in many sizes and descriptions, although often depicted in modern illustrations only as small and spritely with gauze-like wings, and revered in some modern forms of paganism; a sprite.
- (Northern England, US, derogatory, colloquial) A male homosexual, especially one who is effeminate.
- Two species of hummingbird in the genus Heliothryx.
- (supernatural creature): fay, fey, fae, sprite; see also goblin (hostile)
- (male homosexual): fag (US), faggot (US), poof (UK), queen