- a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson.
- a statement or comment that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison, analogy, or the like.
Origin of parable
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for parables
Parables of complex societal problems being solved in a simple way by a pure-minded child are ubiquitous in North Korean culture.Such a Sweet Little Dictator: Kim Jong-un and North Korea’s Child Cult
April 24, 2014
From here on, he was a philosopher, a sage, and his interviews were stuffed full of dicta, parables and eternal paradoxes.What It Was Like to Watch the Beatles Become the Beatles—Nik Cohn Remembers
February 9, 2014
The imaginative Raami turns within, summoning the parables, poems, dignity, humility, and wisdom of her father.This Week’s Hot Reads: July 23, 2012, All-Fiction Edition
July 23, 2012
The stories, most of them very short, have the blunt, evocative effect of parables or campfire tales.3 Great Reads for Thanksgiving
November 25, 2009
In connexion with hair like that one must speak in parables.Alarms and Discursions
G. K. Chesterton
The most beautiful fictions ever written were the parables of the Savior.
What is true of proverbs, is true of all fables, parables, and allegories.Nature
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Whittier said, "But do they not always have an application, like the parables?"Whittier-land
Samuel T. Pickard
"The Bible is filled with parables," said Mr. Talmadge, simply.'Smiles'
Eliot H. Robinson
- a short story that uses familiar events to illustrate a religious or ethical pointRelated adjectives: parabolic, parabolical
- any of the stories of this kind told by Jesus Christ
Word Origin and History for parables
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.)).