fairy-tale

adjective
\ 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

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for fairy-tale

Synonyms: Noun

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

Antonyms: Noun

truth

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 particular the subgenre of American short fiction known as minimalism captures … Characterized by the caprice and fatalism of fairy tales, the fiction of Shirley Jackson exerts a mordant, hypnotic spell. The New York Review of Books, "Joyce Carol Oates," 9 May 2019 The tome, by fashion writer Camilla Morton, is the first in a series of fashion books told in the form of fairy tales. Veronique Hyland, Harper's BAZAAR, "On Our Reading Radar: Christian Lacroix's Fashion Fairy Tale," 2 Feb. 2011 The storm had an eerie beauty from the air, like the villain in a fairy tale. Valerie Bauerlein, WSJ, "When a Hurricane Ravages Your Hometown," 22 Sep. 2018 All of these characters, and more besides, are conjured up in music of opulent inventiveness, full of tangled keyboard gestures and harmonies that are as overgrown as an enchanted garden in a fairy tale. Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, "Lera Auerbach unveils a darkly formidable new piano work," 28 Mar. 2018 Everything from the costumes and food to the artwork and decorations was donated in support of Schow's parents' plan for their daughter's fairy tale ball. Sasha Henriques, Woman's Day, "5-Year-Old with Terminal Cancer Has a Birthday Party, Wedding and Prom All At Once," 4 Aug. 2015 The clock struck midnight, but in this campy fairy tale, the Cinderellas and Cinderellos were going nowhere. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Candy Boys and Girls Got #CottonCampy at the Annual Pre-Met Party," 6 May 2019 The look, which could have come straight out of a fairy tale, featured a light pink body with yellow accents. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Taylor Swift Wore a Pastel Gown to the Time 100 Event," 24 Apr. 2019 The details of some of that history are as familiar as a fairy tale, like the shotgun shack in Tupelo, Miss., where Presley was born on Jan. 8, 1935. Eugene Jarecki, New York Times, "Review: ‘The King’ Chases the American Dream and Elvis," 21 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of fairy-tale

Adjective

1904, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1635, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fairy-tale

Statistics for fairy-tale

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fairy-tale

The first known use of fairy-tale was in 1635

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fairy-tale

fairy tale

noun

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

noun

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!