\ 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 Shyamalan’s attempt at a modern fairy tale isn’t a completely terrible effort though some of the aspects lean a little ridiculous. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 22 July 2021 Ted’s outline of the story structure in a typical rom-com–slash–fairy tale also functions as a road map for season two of Ted Lasso, which somehow manages to improve upon the charming pandemic antidepressant that was season one. Jen Chaney, Vulture, 20 July 2021 The accompanying choreography, performed in three different locations around the city, follows the basic narrative of Charles Perrault’s familiar fairy tale — a princess cursed by a wicked fairy falls into a deep sleep until awakened by a prince. BostonGlobe.com, 19 May 2021 Entering was like quite literally like walking into a fairy tale—guests waltzed into the event space through a giant story book with a cutout that could also double for cute photo opps. Brooklyn White, Essence, 13 July 2021 The hike takes you into a scene from an old fairy tale, as big old pine trees snake up the mountain. Sofia Krusmark, The Arizona Republic, 3 July 2021 Van Cleef & Arpels is bringing its fairy tale to the West Coast. Paige Reddinger, Robb Report, 20 Apr. 2021 As my editor says, any story could be a horror story or a fairy tale. Brady Gerber, Vulture, 8 June 2021 No movie has divided horror fans in 2021 quite like this audacious fairy tale written and directed by Devereux Milburn. Erik Piepenburg, New York Times, 30 Apr. 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

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The first known use of fairy-tale was in 1635

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Dictionary Entries Near fairy-tale

fairy stone


fairy tale

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Cite this Entry

“Fairy-tale.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fairy-tale. Accessed 2 Aug. 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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