\ 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 addition to the plane and dog, there’s a dog posing as a cat to help Freckles, and a fairy tale kingdom in need of saving from an evil king who distorts the truth. Doug George, chicagotribune.com, "Youth musical ‘Plane That Took a Train’ becomes a podcast, and a reminder of the times we all could use a little help," 2 Apr. 2021 The classic fairy tale character Sleeping Beauty may be fictional, but the idea of beauty sleep is not. Kiana Murden, CNN Underscored, "27 products that tackle your skin care concerns overnight," 15 Mar. 2021 It’s Chika’s fairy tale, but her music is giving us all a happily ever after. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, "Chika Drops a Magical New EP, Once Upon a Time," 12 Mar. 2021 To me, a native Texan, New England was always a far-off dream, a distant fairy tale where sailboats, lobster, and the Kennedys lived harmoniously in seaside mansions. Tanner Saunders, Travel + Leisure, "Designer Cottages, a Charming Town, and Mouthwatering Lobster Await at One of America’s Best Inns," 8 Mar. 2021 Here’s a quick look at some of Costa Rica’s most popular destinations: Arenal Rising dramatically from the land and ringed by rivers, rainforests and waterfalls, Arenal Volcano looks straight from a children’s fairy tale. Kathryn Sarkis, USA TODAY, "Thinking about your first post-pandemic family trip? Here's how to plan a Costa Rican adventure," 17 Feb. 2021 The clock still hasn’t struck midnight in Justin Turner’s fairy tale. Dylan Hernández Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: There’s no way relationship between Justin Turner and Dodgers could have ended," 13 Feb. 2021 Chika, Once Upon a Time Even with a nomination for best new artist at Sunday's Grammys, Chika is still craving her very own fairy tale. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "First Out: New Music From Chika, Phoebe Bridgers, Shaed & More," 12 Mar. 2021 And suddenly, a family reunion fairy tale was not in the cards. Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, "A search for biological relatives leads an adopted woman to the FBI's most wanted list," 8 Mar. 2021

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.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fairy-tale. Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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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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