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fable

noun fa·ble \ ˈfā-bəl \
|Updated on: 6 Jul 2018

Definition of fable

: a fictitious narrative or statement: such as
a : a legendary story of supernatural happenings
  • Minerva is in fables said, from Jove without a mother to proceed
  • —Sir John Davies
b : a narration intended to enforce a useful truth; especially : one in which animals speak and act like human beings
  • The theme of the fable was the folly of human vanity.
c : falsehood, lie
  • The story that he won the battle single-handedly is a mere fable.

Examples of fable in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of fable from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of fable

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Latin fābula "talk, gossip, account, tale, legend," from fā-, stem of for, fārī "to speak, say" + -bula, feminine derivative of -bulum, instrumental suffix (going back to Indo-European *-dhlom) — more at 1ban


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fable

verb

Definition of fable

fabled; fabling play \ˈfā-b(ə-)liŋ\
archaic : to tell fables
: to talk or write about as if true

fabler

play \ˈfā-b(ə-)lər\ noun

Origin and Etymology of fable

Middle English fablen, borrowed from Anglo-French fabler, fableier, going back to Latin fābulārī "to talk, converse, invent a story," verbal derivative of fābula "talk, account, 1fable"


FABLE Defined for English Language Learners

fable

Definition of fable for English Language Learners

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

  • : a story or statement that is not true


FABLE Defined for Kids

fable

noun fa·ble \ ˈfā-bəl \

Definition of fable for Students

1 : a story that is not true
2 : a story in which animals speak and act like people and which is usually meant to teach a lesson


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