Canterbury tale

noun
variants: or

Canterbury story

Definition of Canterbury tale

  1. 1 :  a cock-and-bull story :  yarn, fable a Canterbury tale of a leg and an eye and heaven knows what — George Colman †1794

  2. 2 :  a long tedious tale it grows into a long Canterbury tale of two hours — Richard Steele

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of canterbury tale

from The Canterbury Tales, literary work by Geoffrey Chaucer †1400 English poet, consisting mostly of narrative poems which he puts into the mouths of persons on a pilgrimage to Canterbury


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a trip made at another's expense

Get Word of the Day daily email!