fairy tale

[ fair-ee teyl ]
See synonyms for fairy tale on Thesaurus.com
nounSometimes fair·y sto·ry [fair-ee stawr-ee] /ˈfɛər i ˌstɔr i/ .
  1. a story, usually for children, about elves, hobgoblins, dragons, fairies, or other magical creatures.

  2. an incredible or misleading statement, account, or belief: His story of being a millionaire is just a fairy tale.

adjectivefair·y-tale .
  1. of, relating to, or suggesting a fairy tale: a fairy-tale castle.

  2. idealized or romantic, often to an unrealistic extent: Many people still want to believe in true love and fairy-tale endings.

Origin of fairy tale

First recorded in 1740–50

Words Nearby fairy tale

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use fairy tale in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fairy tale (1 of 2)

fairy tale

  1. a story about fairies or other mythical or magical beings, esp one of traditional origin told to children

  2. a highly improbable account

British Dictionary definitions for fairy-tale (2 of 2)


  1. of or relating to a fairy tale

  2. resembling a fairy tale, esp in being extremely happy or fortunate: a true story with a fairy-tale ending

  1. highly improbable: he came out with a fairy-tale account of his achievements

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