fab·​li·​au ˈfa-blē-ˌō How to pronounce fabliau (audio)
plural fabliaux ˈfa-blē-ˌō(z) How to pronounce fabliau (audio)
: a short, usually comic, frankly coarse, and often cynical tale in verse popular especially in the 12th and 13th centuries

Word History


borrowed from French, from Picard form of Old French fablel, fableau, diminutive of fable fable entry 1

First Known Use

1804, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fabliau was in 1804

Dictionary Entries Near fabliau

Cite this Entry

“Fabliau.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fabliau. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on fabliau

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!