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.
a. Fated to die soon.
b. Full of the sense of approaching death.
Origin: Middle English feie, fated to die
Origin: , from Old English fǣge
Related Forms:Word History:
The history of the words fey
illustrates a rather fey coincidence. Our word fay,
“fairy, elf,” the descendant of Middle English faie,
“a person or place possessed of magical properties,” and first recorded around 1390, goes back to Old French fae,
“fairy,” the same word that has given us fairy. Fae
in turn comes from Vulgar Latin Fāta,
“the goddess of fate,” from Latin fātum,
“fate.” If fay
goes back to fate, so does fey
in a manner of speaking, for its Old English ancestor fǣge
meant “fated to die.” The sense we are more familiar with, “magical or fairylike in quality,” seems to have arisen partly because of the resemblance in sound between fay