fairy tale

A fairy tale is a magical story for children, like "Cinderella" or "Rumpelstiltskin." If you read a story that begins, "Once upon a time," chances are it's a fairy tale.

A story doesn't have to include any fairies at all to be considered a fairy tale. Fairy tales are typically full of magic spells, princesses, talking animals, evil queens, witches, and goblins. Disney would probably not be in business if it weren't for fairy tales. You can also use the word to describe some part of real life that seems almost magical, like a "fairy tale romance."

Definitions of fairy tale

n a story about fairies; told to amuse children

fairy story, fairytale
Type of:
narration, narrative, story, tale
a message that tells the particulars of an act or occurrence or course of events; presented in writing or drama or cinema or as a radio or television program

n an interesting but highly implausible story; often told as an excuse

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.