An example of something fey is wearing a Halloween costume in the middle of the spring.
- Now Chiefly Scot.
- fated; doomed to death: archaic except in Scottish usage
- in an unusually excited state, formerly believed to portend sudden death
- strange or unusual in any of certain ways, as, variously, eccentric, whimsical, visionary, elfin, shy, otherworldly
Origin of feyMiddle English feie from Old English fæge, fated, akin to German feige, cowardly (OHG feigi, doomed) from Indo-European base an unverified form peik-, hostile from source foe, feud, Classical Latin piger, averse
- a. Overrefined, exaggerated, or affected: “She said the word in a deliberately fey and pretentious manner, striking a pose” ( Jenefer Shute )b. Effeminate: “a fey snap of the wrist” ( Michael Eric Dyson )
- a. Having or displaying an otherworldly, magical, or fairylike aspect or quality: “She's got that fey look as though she's had breakfast with a leprechaun” ( Dorothy Burnham )b. Having visionary power; clairvoyant.c. Appearing touched or crazy, as if under a spell.
- Scots a. Fated to die soon.b. Full of the sense of approaching death.
Origin of feyMiddle English feie fated to die from Old English fǣge
(comparative more fey, superlative most fey)
From Middle English fey (“fated to die”), from Old English fǣge (“doomed to die, timid”), from Proto-Germanic *faigijaz (“cowardly, wicked”), from Proto-Indo-European *pAik-, *pAig- (“ill-meaning, bad”). Akin to Old Saxon fēgi whence Dutch veeg (“doomed, near death”), Old High German feigi (“appointed for death, ungodly”) whence German feige (“cowardly”), Old Norse feigr (“doomed”) whence the Icelandic feigur (“doomed to die”), Old English fāh (“outlawed, hostile”). More at foe.