from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A fanciful tale of legendary deeds and creatures, usually intended for children.
  • n. A fictitious, highly fanciful story or explanation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A folktale featuring fairies or similar fantasy characters.
  • n. An unrealistic story.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a story about magical or mythological creatures, such as fairies, elves, goblins, trolls, orcs, unicorns, wizards, dragons, etc., usually composed for the amusement of children; called also a fairy story.
  • n. a false story intended to deceive or mislead, especially one involving unlikely events or situations; called also a fairy story.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A tale or story about fairies.
  • n. A story as unreal and as incredible in its statements as fairies or tales about them.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a story about fairies; told to amuse children
  • n. an interesting but highly implausible story; often told as an excuse
  • n. an interesting but highly implausible story; often told as an excuse
  • n. a story about fairies; told to amuse children


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • In the country in which it is supposed to be endemic it is believed that if male animals graze under the papaw tree they become BLASE; but science alleges that the roots and extracted juice possess aphrodisiac properties, and who among us would not rather place credence upon this particular fairy tale of science than the fairy tales of swarthy and illiterate and possibly biassed gentlemen.

    The Confessions of a Beachcomber

  • The pennons, the decked-out, high-stepping horses, the ermines and velvets are all part of fairy tale now.

    The Women’s Room

  • I faintly hope that at the last moment, as in a fairy tale when the princess is about to perish, there will appear a handsome huel on a white stallion, a savior who will deliver me into the shining kingdom of English.

    A Mountain of Crumbs

  • Smiley was reminded of Bchner's fairy tale of the child left alone in an empty world who, finding no one to talk to, went to the moon because it smiled at him, but the moon was made of rotten wood.

    A Murder of Quality

  • The Tree was thinking of summer days in the wood, and of winter nights when the stars shone; it was thinking of Christmas Eve and Klumpy - Dumpy, the only fairy tale it had heard and knew how to tell, -- and so the Tree burned out.

    Good Stories for Great Holidays

  • The song says, ‘Frosty the Snowman was a fairy tale they say.’

    Life As We Know It

  • The Mariinsky—with tutus wider than the legs are long—preserves Russian classicism and applies it to productions like "Anna Karenina" and the Russian fairy tale "The Little Humpbacked Horse."

    Where the World Comes to Dance

  • The German word M rchen, gives the meaning completely, and this we may English by fairy tale or legend, but then neither of these words are fully correct with regard to Andersen's stories.

    The True Story of My Life

  • It would seem that Wyatt/Dr. Mitchell-Smith presents us with a cognitive Möbius strip, enacting in one phase of his life a fairy tale about masculinity, while in another phase contributing to our understanding of the medieval origins of such narratives.

    Dont You Forget About Me

  • It has the imaginative credulity of a primitive folk-tale; whereas Miss Canby's story is evidently told for children by an older person, who adopts the mannoer of a fairy tale and cannot conceal the mature mood which allows such didactic phrases as "Jack Frost as he is sometimes called," "Noon, at which time Mr. Sun is strongest."

    The Story of My Life


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