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

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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

truth

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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

As the film’s title implies, the movie functions as a fairy tale. Los Angeles Times, "‘Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood’ is the year’s first surefire Oscar best picture nominee," 2 Aug. 2019 That’s a classic opening to a fairy tale (think of Cinderella or Snow White, for instance). Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Midsommar’s twisted ending, explained," 3 July 2019 Meghan Markle is living out what some — actually, many — call a fairy tale romance. refinery29.com, "The First American Celebrity To Marry Into Royalty Had A Shocking Life," 10 May 2018 The utopian impulses of the 1960s were a fairy tale too, and the only thing that gave this one a temporal validity was that millions of people believed it or, at the very least, so earnestly wanted to. Tom Carson, Los Angeles Times, "Woodstock glorified them. Tarantino barbecued them. In 2019, whither the hippie?," 15 Aug. 2019 In a way, the story is almost a fairy tale: this man was a mess in his previous life and now has a chance to start fresh. Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker, "George Saunders on the Induced Bafflement of Fiction," 12 Aug. 2019 But presumably none of those plans worked out, given the dark ending to that fairy tale. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Running the numbers on an insane scheme to save Antarctic ice," 20 July 2019 Like most stories, though, this isn’t a fairy tale. Jonah Dylan, courant.com, "After years of ups and downs, undefeated Tramaine Williams looks for a world title shot," 29 June 2019 Another thing that was such a fairy tale is that Trevor’s grandfather was assigned to this very same post under President Gerald Ford. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "Ken Fulk Brings a Contemporary Edge to the American Ambassador's Residence in Vienna," 27 May 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

Adjective

1904, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1635, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for fairy-tale

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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

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

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