follow Dictionary.com

Why turkey has the same name as Turkey

fairy ring

noun
1.
any of numerous mushrooms of meadows and open woods, especially the well-known Marasmius oreades, that spread in rings originating from mycelial growth: formerly supposed to mark the paths laid by dancing fairies.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for fairy-ring

fairy ring

noun
1.
a ring of dark luxuriant vegetation in grassy ground corresponding to the edge of an underground fungal mycelium: popularly associated with the dancing of fairies: seasonally marked by a ring of mushrooms
2.
short for fairy ring mushroom, Marasmius oreades, a dainty buff-coloured edible basidiomycetous fungus, characteristically forming rings in grassland
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
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for fairy-ring

fairy ring

a naturally occurring circular ring of mushrooms on a lawn or other location. A fairy ring starts when the mycelium (spawn) of a mushroom falls in a favourable spot and sends out a subterranean network of fine, tubular threads called hyphae. The hyphae grow out from the spore evenly in all directions, forming a circular mat of underground hyphal threads. The mushrooms that grow up from this circular underground mat form a similar pattern above ground. Gradually the underground mycelium at the centre of the circle dies out. Its living outer edges, however, keep growing year by year, and hence the diameter of the ring gradually increases. Over time the ring's underground segments die out, until the ring form on the surface can no longer be discerned.

Learn more about fairy ring with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for fairy ring

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for fairy

11
10
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with fairy-ring