\ 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

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 the age-old fairy tale, Cinderella travels in a giant pumpkin carriage to meet her prince. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 30 Aug. 2022 To make these surprises even more appealing, Kirby's design is always cute, and the first stage is always a bit fairy tale-like. Washington Post, 17 Apr. 2020 Eric Pinder directs a spooky staging of Engelbert Humperdinck’s version of the fairy tale. Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel, 24 Aug. 2022 The end of the fairy tale was the beginning of Diana’s emergence as a modern role model. Roxanne Roberts, Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2022 GINNIFER & JOSH Their love story has almost been out of a fairy tale. People Staff, Peoplemag, 9 Aug. 2022 This year marks the 25th anniversary of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, the groundbreaking television film adaptation of the iconic French fairy tale. Kyle Denis, Billboard, 23 Aug. 2022 The Little Mermaid by Edvard Eriksen depicts a mermaid becoming human and is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s 1837 fairy tale of the same name. David Nikel, Forbes, 17 Aug. 2022 American faith in the Fed chairman is based on a kind of national fairy tale about the 1970s. Wsj Opinion Staff, WSJ, 10 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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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Statistics for fairy-tale

Cite this Entry

“Fairy-tale.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fairy-tale. Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for fairy-tale

fairy tale


Kids Definition of fairy tale

: a simple children's story about magical creatures


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