\ ˈfer-ē-ˌtāl How to pronounce fairy-tale (audio) \

Definition of fairy-tale

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: characteristic of or suitable to a fairy tale especially : marked by seemingly unreal beauty, perfection, luck, or happiness led a fairy-tale life a store clerk's fairy-tale romance

fairy tale


Definition of fairy tale (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a story (as for children) involving fantastic forces and beings (such as fairies, wizards, and goblins) enjoyed the fairy tale "The Little Mermaid"

called also fairy story

b : a story in which improbable events lead to a happy ending those balletic fairy tales in which a new corps member steps in for an injured principal at the last minute and delivers a splendid performance— Margaret Willis
2 : a made-up story usually designed to mislead an old-fashioned fairy tale depicting revolutionists as demigods— Jonathan Zimmerman

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Synonyms & Antonyms for fairy-tale

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of fairy-tale in a Sentence

Noun the fairy tale about the sleeping princess Everything he told us about his happy marriage was just a fairy tale.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This spare setting highlights the eerie beauty of Puccini’s fairy tale. Sally Rooney, The New York Review of Books, "Madeleine Schwartz," 18 Apr. 2019 Amazon has gone all-in on fantasy, debuting meta-superhero drama The Boys, Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett adaptation Good Omens and dark Victorian fairy tale Carnival Row, all within the past three months. Judy Berman, Time, "Disney Has Reshaped the Movie Industry. Will Disney+ Do the Same for Television?," 29 Aug. 2019 Thanks to one bad decision by a fairy tale character, the entire species is perceived as big — and bad. Alan Wirzbicki, BostonGlobe.com, "The free, all-natural, and quite handsome solution to Lyme disease and other tick maladies," 22 Aug. 2019 Elaborations on this idea now invoke a fairy tale genetics that far surpasses the X-Men in absurdity, including the milk chugging ritual as a signal of advanced (white) mutant powers. C. Brandon Ogbunu, WIRED, "How White Nationalists Have Co-Opted Fan Fiction," 1 Aug. 2019 Kate dated Prince William for nearly a decade before their fairy tale wedding at Westminster Abbey in 2011, and has now spent nearly half her life in the spotlight. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "Why Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton Are Showing 'More Confidence': 'They're More Relaxed'," 19 July 2019 And the tour — for up to 50 people — certainly brings out the inner child in anyone, right from the start with a fairy tale video that follows guests throughout the experience. Kathleen Christiansen, orlandosentinel.com, "World Chocolate Day: Chocolate Museum & Cafe and Chocolate Kingdom offer tours," 7 July 2019 French director Vincent Huguet’s production was conservative and serviceable, if somewhat austere in eschewing the colorful spirit of a fairy tale. Larry Wolff, The New York Review of Books, "A Resonant Centenary for Strauss at the Vienna State Opera," 13 June 2019 Princess Eugenie is getting ready for her upcoming fairy tale wedding — and the public is invited. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank invite 1,200 members of the public to their wedding," 19 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fairy-tale.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fairy-tale


1904, in the meaning defined above


1635, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for fairy-tale

Time Traveler for fairy-tale

The first known use of fairy-tale was in 1635

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More Definitions for fairy-tale

fairy tale


English Language Learners Definition of fairy tale

: a simple children's story about magical creatures
: a false story that is meant to trick people

fairy tale


Kids Definition of fairy tale

: a simple children's story about magical creatures

Comments on fairy-tale

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a calculated move

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