\ 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 this treasured fairy tale, a beauty named Belle is imprisoned in a castle, far, far away by a frightening beast. Amanda Kondolojy, Orlando Sentinel, 21 July 2022 In a real fairy tale, her tea kettle would turn into a carriage and those dogs would become plumed white horses. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 12 July 2022 In other words, the climate-warming carbon gas is turned into stone, like the villain in a fairy tale. Vince Beiser, Wired, 28 Dec. 2021 There’s a poignancy to Sonny’s pathetic delusions of grandeur that’s unique in The Godfather, a fractured fairy tale about the American dream. Tim Grierson, Rolling Stone, 7 July 2022 The moment when the fairy tale about pure and cloistered colleges began to fall apart can be dated with some precision. Andrew Delbanco, The New York Review of Books, 8 June 2022 Brelby Productions presents this 60-minute fairy tale about the sun and moon, who have loved each other for eons, finally able to meet in person during an eclipse. San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 May 2022 Joe Biden’s dark fairy tale about the country returning to Jim Crow is not merely an egregious political falsehood. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 24 Jan. 2022 This one has enough wide-eyed boldness and shimmer to earn the designation of fairy tale. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 5 July 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 tale


fairy tern

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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 15 Aug. 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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