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parable

[par-uh-buh l]
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noun
  1. a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson.
  2. a statement or comment that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison, analogy, or the like.
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Origin of parable

1275–1325; Middle English parabil < Late Latin parabola comparison, parable, word < Greek parabolḗ comparison, equivalent to para- para-1 + bolḗ a throwing
Related formspa·rab·o·list [puh-rab-uh-list] /pəˈræb ə lɪst/, noun

Synonyms

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1. allegory, homily, apologue.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for parable

parable

noun
  1. a short story that uses familiar events to illustrate a religious or ethical pointRelated adjectives: parabolic, parabolical
  2. any of the stories of this kind told by Jesus Christ
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Derived Formsparabolist (pəˈræbəlɪst), noun

Word Origin

C14: from Old French parabole, from Latin parabola comparison, from Greek parabolē analogy, from paraballein to throw alongside, from para- 1 + ballein to throw
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for parable

n.

mid-13c., parabol, modern form from early 14c., "saying or story in which something is expressed in terms of something else," from Old French parable "parable, parabolic style in writing" (13c.), from Latin parabola "comparison," from Greek parabole "a comparison, parable," literally "a throwing beside," hence "a juxtaposition," from para- "alongside" (see para- (1)) + bole "a throwing, casting, beam, ray," related to ballein "to throw" (see ballistics).

Replaced Old English bispell. In Vulgar Latin, parabola took on the meaning "word," hence Italian parlare, French parler "to speak" (see parley (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper