fable

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English, from Old French fable, from Latin fabula, from fā(rī) (to speak, say) + bula (instrumental suffix). See Ban, and compare fabulous, fame.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

fable (plural fables)

  1. A fictitious narrative intended to enforce some useful truth or precept, usually with animals, birds etc as characters; an apologue. Prototypically, Aesop's Fables.
  2. Any story told to excite wonder; common talk; the theme of talk.
  3. Fiction; untruth; falsehood.
    • Joseph Addison,
      It would look like a fable to report that this gentleman gives away a great fortune by secret methods.
  4. The plot, story, or connected series of events forming the subject of an epic or dramatic poem.
    • Dryden
      The moral is the first business of the poet; this being formed, he contrives such a design or fable as may be most suitable to the moral.

Synonyms[edit]

  • (fiction to enforce a useful precept): morality play
  • (story to excite wonder): legend
  • (falsehood):

Translations[edit]

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Verb[edit]

fable (third-person singular simple present fables, present participle fabling, simple past and past participle fabled)

  1. (intransitive, archaic) To compose fables; hence, to write or speak fiction ; to write or utter what is not true.
    • Shakespeare, 1 Henry VI, IV-ii:
      He Fables not.
    • Matthew Prior:
      Vain now the tales which fabling poets tell.
    • Matthew Arnold:
      He fables, yet speaks truth.
  2. (transitive, archaic) To feign; to invent; to devise, and speak of, as true or real; to tell of falsely.

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin fabula

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

fable f (plural fables)

  1. fable, story

Synonyms[edit]

External links[edit]


Old French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin fabula

Noun[edit]

fable f (oblique plural fables, nominative singular fable, nominative plural fables)

  1. fable, story

Synonyms[edit]