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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
1740-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fairy tale
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “It seems like a fairy tale, anyway,” said Jessie, wide-eyed and pink-cheeked.

    Lucile Triumphant Elizabeth M. Duffield
  • He attempts to excuse himself for the theft of the fairy tale.

  • "The old man told me a fairy tale, all right," Benson went on.

  • They said it was better than any fairy tale they had ever read.

    Clematis Bertha B. Cobb
  • And now I will tell you a fairy tale: to make you understand it at all I must put it in the shape of a tale.

    Madam How and Lady Why Charles Kingsley
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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Difficulty index for fairy tale

Few English speakers likely know this word

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