A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Fairy (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 763

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 763

Fai'ry. n.s. [ꝼꞃhð, Saxon; fee, French.]

Ab ἔρα, terra, fit & ϝέρα Macedonum dialecto; unde ἔνεροι ἔνϝεροι, & Romanis inferi, qui Scoto-Saxonibus dicuntur feries, nostratiq; vulgo corruptius fairies, καταχθόνιοι δαίμονες, sive dii manes. Baxter's Glossary.

  1. A kind of fabled beings supposed to appear in a diminutive human form, and to dance in the meadows, and reward cleanliness in houses; an elf, a fay.

    Nan Page, my daughter, and my little son,
    And three or four more of their growth, we'll dress
    Like urchins, ouphes, and fairies, green and white,
    With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads,
    And rattles in their hands.
    Shakes. Merry Wives of Windsor.

    Then let them all encircle him about,
    And fairy like too pinch the unclean knight;
    And ask him, why, that hour of fairy revel,
    In their so sacred paths he dares to tread
    In shape prophane.
    . Shakesp. Merry Wives of Windsor.

    By the idea any one has of fairies, or centaurs, he cannot know that things, answering those ideas, exist. Locke.

    Fays, fairies, genii, elves, and demons hear. Pope.

  2. Enchantress. Warburton.

    To this great fairy I'll commend thy acts,
    Make her thanks bless thee.
    Shakes. Anth. and Cleopatra.

Sources: Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (57) · Baxter, William (1) · Locke, John (269) · Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor (95) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Warburton, William (1)

Attributes: French (385) · Greek (126) · Latin (690) · Saxon (215)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Fairy (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 26, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/fairy/.

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