fey

[ fey ]
/ feɪ /

adjective

British Dialect. doomed; fated to die.
Chiefly Scot. appearing to be under a spell; marked by an apprehension of death, calamity, or evil.
supernatural; unreal; enchanted: elves, fairies, and other fey creatures.
being in unnaturally high spirits, as were formerly thought to precede death.
whimsical; strange; otherworldly: a strange child with a mysterious smile and a fey manner.

Origin of fey

before 900; Middle English; Old English fǣge doomed to die; cognate with Old Norse feigr doomed, German feig cowardly
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fey

British Dictionary definitions for fey

fey

/ (feɪ) /

adjective

interested in or believing in the supernatural
attuned to the supernatural; clairvoyant; visionary
mainly Scot fated to die; doomed
mainly Scot in a state of high spirits or unusual excitement, formerly believed to presage death
Derived Formsfeyness, noun

Word Origin for fey

Old English fæge marked out for death; related to Old Norse feigr doomed, Old High German feigi
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

Word Origin and History for fey

fey


adj.

"of excitement that presages death," from Old English fæge "doomed to die, fated, destines," also "timid, feeble;" and/or from Old Norse feigr, both from Proto-Germanic *faigjo- (cf. Old Saxon fegi, Old Frisian fai, Middle Dutch vege, Middle High German veige "doomed," also "timid," German feige "cowardly"), from PIE *peig- "evil-minded, hostile" (see foe). Preserved in Scottish. Sense of "displaying unearthly qualities" and "disordered in the mind (like one about to die)" led to modern ironic sense of "affected."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper