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fairy tale

a story, usually for children, about elves, hobgoblins, dragons, fairies, or other magical creatures.
an incredible or misleading statement, account, or belief:
His story of being a millionaire is just a fairy tale.
Also called fairy story.
Origin of fairy tale
First recorded in 1740-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fairy tale
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Let us change the subject; let us have a romance or a fable or a fairy tale.

    Alarms and Discursions G. K. Chesterton
  • Decidedly, I had walked into a fairy tale, or else I was dreaming!

    The Green Satin Gown Laura E. Richards
  • Diabolus, like the bad genius in the fairy tale, survived for fresh mischief.


    James Anthony Froude
  • A dream had succeeded the nightmare, a fairy tale of a dream.

    The Innocent Adventuress Mary Hastings Bradley
  • But I've been about to-day, and I asked questions, and—I'm going to tell you a fairy tale.

    Cy Whittaker's Place Joseph C. Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for fairy tale

fairy tale

a story about fairies or other mythical or magical beings, esp one of traditional origin told to children
a highly improbable account
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fairy tale

"oral narrative centered on magical tests, quests, and transformations," 1749, translating French Conte de feés of Madame d'Aulnois (1698, translated into English 1699). As an adjective (also fairytale), attested by 1963.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for fairy tale

fairy tale


Simplistic explanation, often condescending: don't want to hear your little bedtime story

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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