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.
Why Is The Name Jack Used In So Many Fairy Tales?Doesn’t it seem like a disproportionate number of fairy tales contain a hero named Jack? Is this just a coincidence?
Do Zoologists Pick Animal Names Like “Pink Fairy Armadillo”?Even scientists like to have fun with words to help us laymen folk truly understand the nuances of some of these rare animals.
- fairy ring,
- fairy shrimp,
- fairy stone,
- fairy story,
- fairy swallow,
Origin of fairy tale
First recorded in 1740–50
Also called fairy story.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
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
"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