parable

[par-uh-buhl]
See more synonyms for parable on Thesaurus.com
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.

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 for parable

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for parables

tale, fable, teaching, lesson, legend, allegory

Examples from the Web for parables

Contemporary Examples of parables

Historical Examples of parables

  • 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


British Dictionary definitions for parables

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
Derived Formsparabolist (pəˈræbəlɪst), noun

Word Origin for parable

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 parables

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.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

parables in Culture

parables

In the New Testament, the stories told by Jesus to convey his religious message; they include the parable of the Good Samaritan and that of the Prodigal Son.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.