noun \ˈfā-bəl\

: a short story that usually is about animals and that is intended to teach a lesson

: a story or statement that is not true

Full Definition of FABLE

:  a fictitious narrative or statement: as
a :  a legendary story of supernatural happenings
b :  a narration intended to enforce a useful truth; especially :  one in which animals speak and act like human beings
c :  falsehood, lie

Examples of FABLE

  1. a fable about busy ants
  2. The story that he won the battle single-handedly is a mere fable.
  3. He combines fact and fable to make a more interesting story.

Origin of FABLE

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin fabula conversation, story, play, from fari to speak — more at ban
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with FABLE


fa·bledfa·bling \-b(ə-)liŋ\

Definition of FABLE

intransitive verb
:  to tell fables
transitive verb
:  to talk or write about as if true
fa·bler \-b(ə-)lər\ noun

First Known Use of FABLE

14th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Narration intended to enforce a useful truth, especially one in which animals or inanimate objects speak and act like human beings. Unlike a folktale, it has a moral that is woven into the story and often explicitly formulated at the end. The Western fable tradition began with tales ascribed to Aesop. It flourished in the Middle Ages, reached a high point in 17th-century France in the works of Jean de La Fontaine, and found a new audience in the 19th century with the rise of children's literature. Fables also have ancient roots in the literary and religious traditions of India, China, and Japan.


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