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airy-fairy

[ air-ee-fair-ee ]
/ ˈɛər iˈfɛər i /
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adjective
Informal.
  1. delicate or lovely: an airy-fairy actress; an airy-fairy nightgown.
  2. not based on reality or concerned with mundane affairs; unrealistic: airy-fairy ideas about spending a fortune that isn't even his.
Slang. effeminate; swishy.
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Origin of airy-fairy

Perhaps originally in the phrase “airy, fairy Lilian” in Tennyson's poem “Lilian” (1830)

Words nearby airy-fairy

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use airy-fairy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for airy-fairy

airy-fairy
/ (ˈɛərɪˈfɛərɪ) /

adjective
informal fanciful and unrealistican airy-fairy scheme
delicate to the point of being insubstantial; light

Word Origin for airy-fairy

C19: from Tennyson's poem Lillian (1830), where the central figure is described as "Airy, fairy Lillian"
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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