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See also: Story


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  • IPA(key): /ˈstɔː.ɹi/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɔːɹi

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English storie, storye, from Anglo-Norman estorie, from Late Latin storia, an aphetic form of Latin historia (history; story), from Ancient Greek ἱστορία (historía, history), from ῐ̔στορέω (historéō, I inquire), from ἵστωρ (hístōr, one who knows, wise one), from Proto-Hellenic *wístōr, from Proto-Indo-European *wéydtōr (knower, wise person), from *weyd- (to see). Compare history and storey (floor of a building).

Alternative forms[edit]


story (plural stories)

  1. A sequence of real or fictional events; or, an account of such a sequence.
    • Ed. Rev.
      Venice, with its unique city and its impressive story
    • Sir W. Temple
      The four great monarchies make the subject of ancient story.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, in The Celebrity:
      The stories did not seem to me to touch life. They were plainly intended to have a bracing moral effect, and perhaps had this result for the people at whom they were aimed. They left me with the impression of a well-delivered stereopticon lecture, with characters about as life-like as the shadows on the screen, and whisking on and off, at the mercy of the operator.
    • 2013 June 29, “Travels and travails”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 55:
      Even without hovering drones, a lurking assassin, a thumping score and a denouement, the real-life story of Edward Snowden, a rogue spy on the run, could be straight out of the cinema. But, as with Hollywood, the subplots and exotic locations may distract from the real message: America’s discomfort and its foes’ glee.
    The book tells the story of two roommates.
  2. A lie, fiction.
    You’ve been telling stories again, haven’t you?
  3. (US, colloquial, usually pluralized) A soap opera.
    What will she do without being able to watch her stories?
  4. (obsolete) History.
    • 1644, John Milton, Aeropagitica:
      [] who is so unread or so uncatechis'd in story, that hath not heard of many sects refusing books as a hindrance, and preserving their doctrine unmixt for many ages, only by unwritt'n traditions.
  5. A sequence of events, or a situation, such as might be related in an account.
    What's the story with him?
    I tried it again; same story, no error message, nothing happened.
    The images it captured help tell a story of extreme loss: 25 percent of its ice and four of its 19 glaciers have disappeared since 1957.
  6. (Internet, Snapchat) A temporary collection of a user's recently publicized snaps.
Usage notes[edit]
  • (soap opera): Popularized in the 1950s, when soap operas were often billed as "continuing stories", the term "story" to describe a soap opera fell into disuse by the 21st century and is now used chiefly among older people and in rural areas. Other English-speaking countries used the term at its zenith as a "loaned" word from the United States.
Derived terms[edit]


story (third-person singular simple present stories, present participle storying, simple past and past participle storied)

  1. To tell as a story; to relate or narrate about.
    • Shakespeare
      How worthy he is I will leave to appear hereafter, rather than story him in his own hearing.
    • Bishop Wilkins
      It is storied of the brazen colossus in Rhodes, that it was seventy cubits high.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English story, from Old French *estoree (a thing built, a building), from estoree (built), feminine past participle of estorer (to build), from Latin instauro (to construct, build, erect).

Alternative forms[edit]


story (plural stories)

  1. (obsolete) A building or edifice.
  2. (chiefly US) A floor or level of a building; a storey.
    Synonyms: floor, level
    Our shop was on the fourth story of the building, so we had to install an elevator.
  3. (typography) Alternative form of storey
Usage notes[edit]

See storey.