\ 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 From Roman Holiday to Notting Hill to My Date with the President’s Daughter starring Will Friedle, the how-am-I-hooking-up-with-a-celeb movie is a modern day fairy tale. Bethy Squires, Vulture, 2 June 2021 Like Netflix’s The Platform last year, Undergods is a dystopian fairy tale perfectly suited for the pandemic era. Mark Hughes, Forbes, 8 May 2021 Set in the fairy tale-like beauty of the Pacific Northwest, the film captures a numinous world that shimmers between the visionary and natural. BostonGlobe.com, 5 May 2021 Within the hour, as if in a fairy tale, Bree’s son has been snatched away, car-seat and all. Tom Nolan, WSJ, 9 Apr. 2021 The hero in this fairy tale is one big, bad Badddooooooo! Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, 6 Apr. 2021 Finland is a country of lush forests, and some Marimekko prints explore the fairy tale aspect of the deep, dark woods and the creatures that inhabit them in real life, or in the imagination. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, 21 May 2021 First off, this magical season for the Suns actually started with the end of last season, when the Suns went 8-0 in the bubble necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic — the perfect fairy tale ending. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 21 May 2021 After meeting in college as students at the University of St. Andrew's in Scotland, Kate and William walked down the aisle of Westminster Abbey in a fairy tale ceremony on April 29, 2011. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, 29 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

Time Traveler

The first known use of fairy-tale was in 1635

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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 12 Jun. 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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