fable

noun
fa·​ble | \ ˈfā-bəl How to pronounce fable (audio) \

Definition of fable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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.

fable

verb
fabled; fabling\ ˈfā-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce fabling (audio) \

Definition of fable (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

archaic : to tell fables

transitive verb

: to talk or write about as if true

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Other Words from fable

Verb

fabler \ ˈfā-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce fabler (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for fable

Synonyms: Noun

allegory, apologue, parable

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Examples of fable in a Sentence

Noun

a fable about busy ants The story that he won the battle single-handedly is a mere fable. He combines fact and fable to make a more interesting story.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

More: Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time' is a radiant Hollywood fableBoth of those movies were filmed in southeast Michigan. Madalyn Dishman, Detroit Free Press, "Metro Detroiter is part of team responsible for acclaimed indie film 'The Farewell'," 26 July 2019 Theoretically, Quentin Tarantino could have made his Tinseltown fable Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (out July 26) at any point in his career. Clark Collis, EW.com, "Quentin Tarantino says Margot Robbie was his first and only choice to play Sharon Tate," 22 July 2019 Songs, in this context, augment the fable and help fill in the parts that must be filled in by the viewer’s imagination. Mick Lasalle, ExpressNews.com, "COVER: Lion King review," 18 July 2019 What the fable lacks in subtlety, Ting often makes up for with the delight of surprise. Karen D'souza, The Mercury News, "Review: Brecht debuts at Cal Shakes with rollicking ‘Good Person of Szechwan’," 8 July 2019 In addition to her poetry, Ms. Ponsot (pronounced pon-SO) translated more than 30 books from French into English, including the fables of Jean de La Fontaine. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Marie Ponsot, elegant poet of the sea, stars and her seven-child family, dies at 98," 8 July 2019 Liza Minnelli starred in a Christmas special modeled on the fable. Ferris Jabr, Harper's magazine, "The Story of Storytelling," 10 Mar. 2019 His wife told the La Jolla Village News in 2012 that the idea for Truffula trees in the 1971 environmental fable came from an Africa trip. USA TODAY, "‘Lorax’ tree legend, butter Elmo, meth squirrel: News from around our 50 states," 19 June 2019 Itinerary Itinerary Encounter a land steeped in stories—from ancient fables to dramatic battle tales—on a journey to the breathtaking landscapes and enchanting villages of Scotland. National Geographic, "Scotland Private Expedition," 12 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of fable

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for fable

Noun

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 ban entry 1

Verb

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, fable entry 1"

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Learn More about fable

Dictionary Entries near fable

fabiform

Fabiola

Fabius

fable

fabled

fableist

fabliau

Statistics for fable

Last Updated

17 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fable

The first known use of fable was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for fable

fable

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fable

: 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

noun
fa·​ble | \ ˈfā-bəl How to pronounce fable (audio) \

Kids Definition of fable

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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More from Merriam-Webster on fable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fable

Spanish Central: Translation of fable

Nglish: Translation of fable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fable for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fable

Comments on fable

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