\ ˈfer-ē-ˌtāl \

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

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

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of fairy-tale in a Sentence


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 Cosmopolitan reports, the House of Mouse and ColourPop teamed up for a fairy tale-themed collection remixed with all the Jenner-level trendiness that ColourPop typically brings to its affordable, inclusive product ranges. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "ColourPop Is Launching an 18-Piece Disney Princess Makeup Collection," 20 Sep. 2018 The men look so much of their time (immediacy) as to seem to have stepped outside of time (as in a fairy tale). Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, "At Yale: on the threshold and under the volcano," 6 July 2018 The only way to follow up a fairy tale royal wedding is with a magical honeymoon. Dana Rose Falcone, PEOPLE.com, "How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Secretly Squeezed in a 2-Week Honeymoon," 11 June 2018 There, the boxes are hand-painted Russian lacquer miniature boxes depicting fairy tales. Kadee Krieger, NOLA.com, "Shotgun House Tour opens the doors to eclectic beauties in Algiers Point," 9 May 2018 As the trial continues, the defense will likely build a dark fairy tale of their own: one about losing everything, including your mind. Maureen O’connor, The Cut, "The Nanny Murder Trial Is Impossible to Watch and Impossible to Look Away From," 18 Mar. 2018 Some see the royals as a real-life fairy tale; others see them as a long-running soap opera. Autumn Brewington, chicagotribune.com, "5 myths about the British royals," 14 May 2018 But grownups are probably the ones most in need of this sort of fairy tale. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "There Are Six Very Good Reasons to Go to the Movies This January," 18 Jan. 2018 These enhaloed the heads of models who led the audience down a garden path in New York’s Marble Cemetery into a romantic realm of fairy tale and fantasy. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "1968 vs. 2018: 50 Years Later Fashion Is Still Playing With the Bohemian Rhapsody of the Late, Tumultuous ’60s," 14 Dec. 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.

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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

The first known use of fairy-tale was in 1635

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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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