noun (1)
sto·​ry | \ ˈstȯr-ē How to pronounce story (audio) \
plural stories

Definition of story

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1a : an account of incidents or events
b : a statement regarding the facts pertinent to a situation in question
c : anecdote especially : an amusing one
2a : a fictional narrative shorter than a novel specifically : short story
b : the intrigue or plot of a narrative or dramatic work
3 : a widely circulated rumor
6 : a news article or broadcast


storied; storying

Definition of story (Entry 2 of 5)

transitive verb

1 : to adorn with a story or a scene from history
2 archaic : to narrate or describe in story


noun (2)
\ ˈstȯr-ē How to pronounce story (audio) \
variants: or less commonly storey
plural stories also storeys

Definition of story (Entry 3 of 5)

1a : the space in a building between two adjacent floor levels or between a floor and the roof
b : a set of rooms in such a space
c : a unit of measure equal to the height of the story of a building one story high
2 : a horizontal division of a building's exterior not necessarily corresponding exactly with the stories within


biographical name (1)
Sto·​ry | \ ˈstȯr-ē How to pronounce Story (audio) \

Definition of Story (Entry 4 of 5)

Joseph 1779–1845 American jurist


biographical name (2)

Definition of Story (Entry 5 of 5)

William Wetmore 1819–1895 son of Joseph Story American sculptor

Other Words from story

Noun (1)

storylike \ ˈstȯr-​ē-​ˌlīk How to pronounce storylike (audio) \ or story-like adjective
storylike narratives

First Known Use of story

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 8a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for story

Noun (1)

Middle English storie, from Anglo-French estoire, estorie, from Latin historia — more at history

Noun (2)

Middle English storie, from Medieval Latin historia narrative, illustration, story of a building, from Latin, history, tale; probably from narrative friezes on the window level of medieval buildings

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Learn More about story

Time Traveler for story

Time Traveler

The first known use of story was in the 13th century

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Statistics for story

Cite this Entry

“Story.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for story


sto·​ry | \ ˈstȯr-ē How to pronounce story (audio) \
plural stories

Kids Definition of story

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a report about incidents or events : account Let's hear your story of what happened.
2 : a short often amusing tale My grandfather tells stories of his childhood.
3 : a fictional tale shorter than a novel
4 : a widely told rumor
5 : lie entry 3, falsehood They made up a story of how the window got broken.


variants: also storey \ ˈstȯr-​ē \
plural stories also storeys

Kids Definition of story (Entry 2 of 2)

: a set of rooms or an area making up one floor level of a building The building is 20 stories high.

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