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, etc. as characters; an apologue. Prototypically, Aesop's Fables.
  2. Any story told to excite wonder; common talk; the theme of talk.
    • 1 Timothy 4:7,
      Old wives' fables.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Alfred Tennyson, (Please provide the title of the work):
      We grew / The fable of the city where we dwelt.
  3. Fiction; untruth; falsehood.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Joseph Addison, (Please provide the title of the work):
      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.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Dryden, (Please provide the title of the work):
      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]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

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.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Shakespeare, 1 Henry VI, IV-ii:
      He Fables not.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Matthew Prior, (Please provide the title of the work):
      Vain now the tales which fabling poets tell.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Matthew Arnold, (Please provide the title of the work):
      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.
    • (Can we date this quote?), John Milton, (Please provide the title of the work):
      The hell thou fablest.

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]