Definition of fairy tale in US English:

fairy tale

(also fairy story)

noun

  • 1A children's story about magical and imaginary beings and lands.

    • ‘It is not often I compare my life to a fairy tale but I'm feeling like a character from Hans Christian Andersen.’
    • ‘As such, it may be a fairy tale but it has a good pedagogical ring to it.’
    • ‘The impression that I got from the movie was that it was only based on the fairy tale.’
    • ‘This is a satisfying variation on the usual fairy tale in which knights compete for the hand of a princess.’
    • ‘Whether it was true or not, I preferred it to remain a fairy tale - like that of Santa Claus.’
    • ‘The snow abruptly stops and the world has changed into marzipan, the fairy tale complete.’
    • ‘It has a charm and simplicity you'd expect to find in a fairy tale.’
    • ‘Swan Lake was based on a German fairy tale and set to music by Tchaikovsky.’
    • ‘There's constant repetition which, at times, gives the writing the soothing familiarity of a fairy tale.’
    • ‘I dreamed of living in a flat like that and used to spend hours looking at the pictures like a child immersed in a fairy tale.’
    • ‘She was due to play Cinderella in a school rendition of the classic fairy tale, but shocked staff cancelled the production.’
    • ‘All of this so far might sound like a fairy tale had it not been for a tragic surprise.’
    • ‘It is a fairy tale with very rich, detailed characters who have history and depth to them.’
    • ‘Now is an entirely new place, as though I had stepped through a window into a fairy tale.’
    • ‘He spent summers at Bridge House in Arncliffe and was inspired by the dales to write his fairy tale The Water Babies.’
    • ‘My favourite fairy tale was The Little Mermaid and that was because Ariel got her prince just by loving him.’
    • ‘In the fairy tale, the match girl, unable to sell any matches, freezes to death in the street.’
    • ‘The Emperor's New Clothes is a very literal title, having nothing to do with the fairy tale.’
    • ‘Vikas Rai Chauhan has brought alive a fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel in the celebrations.’
    • ‘Its ideal form is the fairy tale, a container of myth related in the simplest language.’
    fairy story, folk tale, folk story, traditional story, myth, legend, romance, fantasy, fable, fiction
    folk tale, folk story, traditional story, myth, legend, romance, fantasy, fable, fiction
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    1. 1.1often as modifier Something resembling a fairy tale in being magical, idealized, or extremely happy.
      ‘a fairy-tale romance’
      • ‘From as far as Poland to as close as Punjab - musicians from all corners of the globe are descending on Delhi to give a fairy-tale finale to this year.’
      • ‘It is a fairy-tale kingdom without class warfare, racial violence, or religious hypocrisy.’
      • ‘Last week Mittal held a fairy-tale wedding for his one and only daughter, Vanisha.’
      • ‘It's been a fairy-tale story to go from club coach to national coach in the sport I love.’
      • ‘In the old city is a wealth of Muslim architecture and fairy-tale Nizam palaces, including one that's now a hospital.’
      • ‘We've been together for over ten years now, and it's still a fairy-tale romance.’
      • ‘They're making over brides and their fiancés to create the ultimate fairy-tale weddings.’
      • ‘His eyes twinkle like a fairy-tale grandfather's in his round, tanned face and he makes a kind of slurping, appreciative sound.’
      • ‘Refreshed, we decide upon the long walk up to the fairy-tale clocktower atop the hill overlooking the town.’
      • ‘Barns Tower, with its cosy lounge and fairy-tale bedroom, is the perfect winter hideaway, writes Sophie Cooke’
      • ‘In my case, it's something to do with a childhood longing to be a fairy-tale princess - and fairy tale princesses were never brunette.’
      • ‘Vidocq's great achievement was to confer his magical, fairy-tale prestige on a branch of government administration.’
      • ‘And she's locked in the fight of her life to keep her fairy-tale fortune her own.’
      • ‘Jack suspected she was rather taken with the romantic fairy-tale figure he cut.’
      • ‘In true fairy-tale fashion, the book was an immediate success.’
      • ‘This subtle but persistent political theme is well served by the author's tart humor, as is the fairy-tale romance.’
      • ‘I can't buy the fairy-tale presentation of Em we see in the film because it's completely at odds with what he's worked so hard to make us believe about him up til now.’
      • ‘Our room is a fairy-tale palace: four balconies, two planter chairs, a cane sofa set, a piano - yes, a piano!’
      • ‘It is a fairy-tale moment for a modern-day Cinderella.’
      • ‘The truth is that fairy-tale endings are probably very few and far between.’
    2. 1.2 A fabricated story, especially one intended to deceive.
      • ‘As the UN report demonstrates, it was all a horrible fairy tale.’
      • ‘Just don't start believing the fairytales about spring records meaning anything.’
      • ‘They had their fairy tales, of course, but they were grossly inaccurate pieces of fiction that had long since strayed from the actual facts.’
      • ‘This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen.’
      • ‘That strikes me as a fairy tale.’
      • ‘And that was a big surprise to many people who expected Russia Today to go and tell all the fairy tales about Russia to the world.’
      lie, white lie, fib, half-truth, untruth, falsity, falsehood, story, tall story, tall tale, made-up story, trumped-up story, fake news, fabrication, alternative fact, invention, piece of fiction, falsification
      lie, white lie, fib, half-truth, untruth, falsity, falsehood, story, tall story, fairy story, tall tale, made-up story, trumped-up story, fake news, fabrication, invention, piece of fiction, falsification, alternative fact
      View synonyms

Pronunciation

fairy tale

/ˈferē tāl//ˈfɛri teɪl/