noun \ˈtāl\

: a story about imaginary events : an exciting or dramatic story

: a story about someone's actual experiences

: an exciting story that may not be completely true

Full Definition of TALE

obsolete :  discourse, talk
a :  a series of events or facts told or presented :  account
b (1) :  a report of a private or confidential matter <dead men tell no tales>
(2) :  a libelous report or piece of gossip
a :  a usually imaginative narrative of an event :  story
b :  an intentionally untrue report :  falsehood <always preferred the tale to the truth — Sir Winston Churchill>
a :  count, tally
b :  total

Examples of TALE

  1. The movie is a stirring tale of courage.
  2. We listened to his familiar tale of woe as he talked again about the failure of his marriage.
  3. He told us thrilling tales about his adventures as a pilot in the war.
  4. Are you telling tales again? Or is that the truth?

Origin of TALE

Middle English, from Old English talu; akin to Old Norse tala talk
First Known Use: before 12th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: talebearer
Previous Word in the Dictionary: talcum powder
All Words Near: tale

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up tale? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).