tale

noun
\ ˈtāl How to pronounce tale (audio) \

Definition of tale

1a : a usually imaginative narrative of an event : story
b : an intentionally untrue report : falsehood always preferred the tale to the truth— Sir Winston Churchill
2a : a series of events or facts told or presented : account
b(1) : a report of a private or confidential matter dead men tell no tales
(2) : a libelous report or piece of gossip
3a : count, tally
b : total
4 obsolete : discourse, talk

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Synonyms for tale

Synonyms

canard, story, whisper

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Examples of tale in a Sentence

The movie is a stirring tale of courage. We listened to his familiar tale of woe as he talked again about the failure of his marriage. He told us thrilling tales about his adventures as a pilot in the war. Are you telling tales again? Or is that the truth?
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Recent Examples on the Web

Step across the pond to lovely Croatia and hear the tale of how one of the most frenetic shooters ever came to be. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "War Stories: Serious Sam almost didn’t happen—until crates saved the day," 27 Dec. 2018 This is the groaning game, an inept tale of danger, entrapment and dismemberment. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Greta’ Review: Big Names, Small Chills," 28 Feb. 2019 What began as a spoken tale became widely known when The Dubliners shared it in 1967. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "20 Best Irish Songs to Help You Celebrate St. Patrick's Day," 13 Feb. 2019 That doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of hard work, or talent, in those tales. Jen Doll, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Does It Feel Like Everyone Has More Money Than You?," 12 Feb. 2019 Fantastic tales have been circulated of devices to circumvent the Prohibition forces. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Rewind: What Guarding Uncle Sam's Borders Was Like in 1925," 11 Feb. 2019 After a few tales about college hi-jinx and first impression roses, one woman, Elyse, stood up and revealed that Colton Underwood, at 26, is the first younger guy she's dated. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "On The Bachelor, A Woman Over 27 Is Considered a 'Cougar'," 15 Jan. 2019 This tale of friendship and resilience will warm the hearts of kids from two to 102. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 17 best kids’ books about design and cities," 12 Dec. 2018 But things are rarely that simple with Twitter, and the company’s user-growth story has been an ever-evolving tale. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Twitter is about to tell us if it lost millions of users. Does that really mean its plan is working?," 24 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tale.' 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 tale

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for tale

Middle English, from Old English talu; akin to Old Norse tala talk

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Statistics for tale

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tale

The first known use of tale was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for tale

tale

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tale

: a story about imaginary events : an exciting or dramatic story
: a story about someone's actual experiences
: an exciting story that may not be completely true

tale

noun
\ ˈtāl How to pronounce tale (audio) \

Kids Definition of tale

1 : something told He told a tale of woe.
2 : a story about an imaginary event fairy tales
4 : a piece of harmful gossip

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More from Merriam-Webster on tale

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tale

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tale

Spanish Central: Translation of tale

Nglish: Translation of tale for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tale for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tale

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