fable

[ fey-buh l ]
/ ˈfeɪ bəl /

noun

verb (used without object), fa·bled, fa·bling.

to tell or write fables.
to speak falsely; lie: to fable about one's past.

verb (used with object), fa·bled, fa·bling.

to describe as if actually so; talk about as if true: She is fabled to be the natural daughter of a king.

Nearby words

  1. fabian society,
  2. fabian tactics,
  3. fabian, saint,
  4. fabianism,
  5. fabius maximus,
  6. fabled,
  7. fabliau,
  8. fabliaux,
  9. fablon,
  10. fabre

Origin of fable

1250–1300; Middle English fable, fabel, fabul < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin fābula a story, tale, equivalent to fā(rī) to speak + -bula suffix of instrument

Related formsfa·bler, nounout·fa·ble, verb (used with object), out·fa·bled, out·fa·bling.un·fa·bling, adjective

Can be confusedfable legend myth (see synonym study at legend)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fable


British Dictionary definitions for fable

fable

/ (ˈfeɪbəl) /

noun

verb

Derived Formsfabler, noun

Word Origin for fable

C13: from Latin fābula story, narrative, from fārī to speak, say

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 fable

fable

n.

c.1300, "falsehood, lie, pretense," from Old French fable (12c.) "story, fable, tale; fiction, lie, falsehood," from Latin fabula "story, play, fable, narrative, account, tale," literally "that which is told," related to fari "speak, tell," from PIE root *bha- (2) "speak" (see fame (n.)). Sense of "animal story" (early 14c.) comes from Aesop. In modern folklore terms, defined as "a short, comic tale making a moral point about human nature, usually through animal characters behaving in human ways." Most trace to Greece or India.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper