- a short tale to teach a moral lesson, often with animals or inanimate objects as characters; apologue: the fable of the tortoise and the hare; Aesop's fables.
- a story not founded on fact: This biography is largely a self-laudatory fable.
- a story about supernatural or extraordinary persons or incidents; legend: the fables of gods and heroes.
- legends or myths collectively: the heroes of Greek fable.
- an untruth; falsehood: This boast of a cure is a medical fable.
- the plot of an epic, a dramatic poem, or a play.
- idle talk: old wives' fables.
- to tell or write fables.
- to speak falsely; lie: to fable about one's past.
- to describe as if actually so; talk about as if true: She is fabled to be the natural daughter of a king.
Origin of fable
SynonymsSee more synonyms for fable on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for fable
It is a fable about an elderly woman, “Grandy,” who has suffered an unnamed loss.Book Bag: Reading Your Way Out Of Grief
October 16, 2014
The fable tells us that if policymakers foster competition and cut taxes, the rest will pretty much work itself out.What’s At Stake In The Tocqueville/Piketty Debate
April 27, 2014
Or let the ultimate tortois-and-hare campaign end just like the fable.Against All Odds, Can Sarkozy Pull Out an Election Win vs. Hollande?
May 4, 2012
The fable is fanciful and pleasing in itself; but will it not hereafter be believed as reality?Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
Were not youth and age merely a fable; visions of men's fancy?Casanova's Homecoming
There was silence, and before I had finished my fable the little bell rang.
I commenced, and the sweetness of my voice in the fable of the "Two Pigeons" worked the miracle.
Arthur was a Celt, and may have been a fabulous Celt; but he was a fable on the right side.Alarms and Discursions
G. K. Chesterton
- a short moral story, esp one with animals as characters
- a false, fictitious, or improbable account; fiction or lie
- a story or legend about supernatural or mythical characters or events
- legends or myths collectivelyRelated adjective: fabulous
- archaic the plot of a play or of an epic or dramatic poem
- to relate or tell (fables)
- (intr) to speak untruthfully; tell lies
- (tr) to talk about or describe in the manner of a fableghosts are fabled to appear at midnight
Word Origin and History for fable
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.