\ 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 In the wedding portrait, photographer Chris Allerton captured an unposed moment of Meghan and Harry following their fairy tale ceremony at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Wish Their Followers Happy Thanksgiving: 'From Our Family to Yours'," 28 Nov. 2019 Minnesota pushes to build on fairy tale season by capturing Paul Bunyan’s Axe. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "Oregon’s stumble, Ohio State’s rise among 10 things we learned during college football Saturday," 24 Nov. 2019 Of course, there will be festive lanterns like an enormous Christmas tree, in addition to vignettes of a fairy tale castle and safari animals. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "The Largest Lantern Festival in North America Is Coming to New York City," 18 Nov. 2019 Sharp and the students are excited to bring this classic fairy tale story of friendship, courage and love to the stage in the area premiere. Tracy Trobridge, baltimoresun.com, "Glenwood/Glenelg/Dayton: Glenelg students excited to present new twists on ‘Snow White’," 15 Nov. 2019 Other events throughout the day include sample German lessons, fairy tale movie screenings and a dance party to close the night. Washington Post, "13 things to do in the D.C. area this week," 4 Nov. 2019 Elsewhere, a rubber masked Donald Trump went as Vladimir Putin's date, and a couple dressed as a set of Japanese fairy tale characters, wearing head-to-toe robes inlaid with real yellow, pink, and white daisies. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Japan’s Kawasaki Parade Is a Serious Display of Halloween Spirit," 31 Oct. 2019 Or perhaps the Kardashian family is dressing as group of fairy tale characters this year and Khloé is playing Cinderella's godmother? Neha Prakash, Allure, "Khloé Kardashian’s “Fairy Dust” Manicure Is a Magical Take on Iridescent Nails," 25 Oct. 2019 Wells jokingly told People that Sarah will be using Pinterest and vision boards to plan their big day, so there's no doubt the wedding will be a real-life fairy tale wonderland. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Sarah Hyland's Mom Called Her Fiancé Wells Adams "Hot" and Her Reaction is Hysterical," 23 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for fairy-tale

Time Traveler

The first known use of fairy-tale was in 1635

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Statistics for fairy-tale

Cite this Entry

“Fairy-tale.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fairy%20story. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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

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