[stawr-ee, stohr-ee]

noun, plural sto·ries.

verb (used with object), sto·ried, sto·ry·ing.

to ornament with pictured scenes, as from history or legend.
Obsolete. to tell the history or story of.

Origin of story

1175–1225; Middle English storie < Anglo-French estorie < Latin historia history
Related formssto·ry·less, adjective

Synonyms for story


[stawr-ee, stohr-ee]

noun, plural sto·ries.

a complete horizontal section of a building, having one continuous or practically continuous floor.
the set of rooms on the same floor or level of a building.
any major horizontal architectural division, as of a façade or the wall of a nave.
a layer.
Also especially British, sto·rey.

Origin of story

1350–1400; Middle English storie < Anglo-Latin historia picture decorating a building, a part of the building so decorated, hence floor, story < Latin historia history


[stawr-ee, stohr-ee]


Joseph,1779–1845, U.S. jurist.
William Wet·more [wet-mawr, -mohr] /ˈwɛtˌmɔr, -ˌmoʊr/, 1819–95, U.S. sculptor and poet. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for story

Contemporary Examples of story

Historical Examples of story

  • The lawyer listened with surprise to the story Robert had to tell.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • He recalled the story Uncle Peter had told at the Oldakers' about the woman and her hair.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • They told the story of a queen who had lived to be eighty-two years old.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • She found a friend in a white lady, who knew her story and helped her on her way.

  • So far, the story of ancient man has been the record of a wonderful achievement.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

British Dictionary definitions for story



noun plural -ries

a narration of a chain of events told or written in prose or verse
Also called: short story a piece of fiction, briefer and usually less detailed than a novel
Also called: story line the plot of a book, film, etc
an event that could be the subject of a narrative
a report or statement on a matter or event
the event or material for such a report
informal a lie, fib, or untruth
cut a long story short or make a long story short to leave out details in a narration
the same old story informal the familiar or regular course of events
the story goes it is commonly said or believed

verb -ries, -rying or -ried (tr)

to decorate (a pot, wall, etc) with scenes from history or legends

Word Origin for story

C13: from Anglo-French estorie, from Latin historia; see history



noun plural -ries

another spelling (esp US) of storey
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 story

"account of some happening," early 13c., "narrative of important events or celebrated persons of the past," from Old French estorie, from Late Latin storia and Latin historia "history, account, tale, story" (see history). Meaning "recital of true events" first recorded late 14c.; sense of "narrative of fictitious events meant to entertain" is from c.1500. Not differentiated from history till 1500s. As a euphemism for "a lie" it dates from 1690s. Meaning "newspaper article" is from 1892. Story-teller is from 1709. Story-line first attested 1941. That's another story "that requires different treatment" is attested from 1818. Story of my life "sad truth" first recorded 1938.


"floor of a building," c.1400, from Anglo-Latin historia "floor of a building" (c.1200), also "picture," from Latin historia (see history). Perhaps so called because the fronts of buildings in the Middle Ages often were decorated with rows of painted windows.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with story


In addition to the idiom beginning with story

  • story of my life, the

also see:

  • cock and bull story
  • cover story
  • fish story
  • hard-luck story
  • make a long story short
  • old story
  • same old story
  • shaggy dog story
  • sob story
  • upper story
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.