airy-fairy

[ air-ee-fair-ee ]
/ ˈɛər iˈfɛər i /

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.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON THESE WORDS FROM BROWN GIRL DREAMING!

Visualize yourself passing this quiz on words from Jacqueline Woodson’s exquisite verse novel “Brown Girl Dreaming,” and then take the quiz to prove you can do it! (Because you can.)
Question 1 of 10
What does “barren” mean?

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. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for airy-fairy

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