\ 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

fable, fabrication, falsehood, falsity, fib, lie, mendacity, prevarication, story, tale, taradiddle (or tarradiddle), untruth, whopper

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of fairy-tale in a Sentence


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

The author’s flair for intertwining surrealism with delicate emotionality is again on full display in Mouthful of Birds, a collection short stories that sit somewhere between miniature mysteries and fairy tales. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Most Anticipated Books of 2019: 19 Picks You Should Have on Your Reading List," 1 Jan. 2019 The story chronicles the challenges between fact and fiction, as embodied by the declining Edward Bloom and his distant son, who craves to hear the truth about his father’s life instead of fairy tales. Kt Hawbaker, chicagotribune.com, "Boho Theatre announces its new home and its lineup for the 2019 season, including a revival of 'Big Fish'," 25 June 2018 In this thriller and escapist fairy tale co-written by Clinton and Patterson, the fictitious President Jonathan Lincoln Duncan is in trouble for supposedly having had dealings with terrorists. New York Times, "10 New Books We Recommend This Week," 14 June 2018 This year's contenders for top honors include movies about high-society fashion, a watery fairy tale, a mom seeking justice, a war movie, a horror movie, a newspaper movie and movie about a quirky girl called Lady Bird. John Petkovic, cleveland.com, "Academy Awards 2018: 'Phantom Thread' deserves to win Best Picture Oscar (commentary)," 2 Mar. 2018 All his successful shows have been fables and fairy tales and pageants and pantomimes. Steven Strogatz, The New Yorker, "Did Andrew Lloyd Webber Ruin the Musical or Rescue It?," 20 Feb. 2017 Becoming a royal isn’t always a fairy tale — just ask Princess Sofia of Sweden. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Princess Sofia says she faced a 'hate storm' when dating Prince Carl Philip during her modeling years," 13 Aug. 2018 But extreme cases aside, the Tooth Fairy may be a fairy tale that has outlived its welcome in some houses. Charlotte Hilton Andersen, Redbook, "The Great Mom Debate: How Generous is the Tooth Fairy at Your House?," 5 Feb. 2012 As Cosmopolitan reports, the House of Mouse and ColourPop teamed up for a fairy tale-themed collection remixed with all the Jenner-level trendiness that ColourPop typically brings to its affordable, inclusive product ranges. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "ColourPop Is Launching an 18-Piece Disney Princess Makeup Collection," 20 Sep. 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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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

What made you want to look up fairy-tale? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a shady place in a garden or forest

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