[ stawr-ee, stohr-ee ]
See synonyms for story on
noun,plural sto·ries.
  1. a narrative, either true or fictitious, in prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the hearer or reader; tale.

  2. a fictitious tale, shorter and less elaborate than a novel.

  1. such narratives or tales as a branch of literature: song and story.

  2. the plot or succession of incidents of a novel, poem, drama, etc.: The characterizations were good, but the story was weak.

  3. a narration of an incident or a series of events or an example of these that is or may be narrated, as an anecdote, joke, etc.

  4. a narration of the events in the life of a person or the existence of a thing, or such events as a subject for narration: the story of medicine; the story of his life.

  5. a report or account of a matter; statement or allegation: The story goes that he rejected the offer.

  6. a lie or fabrication: What he said about himself turned out to be a story.

  7. Obsolete. history.

verb (used with object),sto·ried, sto·ry·ing.
  1. to ornament with pictured scenes, as from history or legend.

  2. Obsolete. to tell the history or story of.

Origin of story

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English stori(e), store, “(written or oral) narrative; history,” from Anglo-French (e)storie (Old French estoire), from Latin historia history

Other words for story

Other words from story

  • sto·ry·less, adjective

Words Nearby story

Other definitions for story (2 of 3)

[ stawr-ee, stohr-ee ]

noun,plural sto·ries.
  1. a complete horizontal section of a building, having one continuous or practically continuous floor.

  2. the set of rooms on the same floor or level of a building.

  1. any major horizontal architectural division, as of a façade or the wall of a nave.

  2. a layer.

Origin of story

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English stori(e), from Anglo-Latin (hi)storia architetcure term for a picture decorating a building, a part of the building so decorated, hence floor, story, from Latin historia history
  • Also especially British, sto·rey .

Other definitions for Story (3 of 3)

[ stawr-ee, stohr-ee ]

  1. Joseph, 1779–1845, U.S. jurist.

  2. 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. 2024

How to use story in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for story (1 of 2)


/ (ˈstɔːrɪ) /

nounplural -ries
  1. a narration of a chain of events told or written in prose or verse

  2. Also called: short story a piece of fiction, briefer and usually less detailed than a novel

  1. Also called: story line the plot of a book, film, etc

  2. an event that could be the subject of a narrative

  3. a report or statement on a matter or event

  4. the event or material for such a report

  5. informal a lie, fib, or untruth

  6. cut a long story short or make a long story short to leave out details in a narration

  7. the same old story informal the familiar or regular course of events

  8. the story goes it is commonly said or believed

verb-ries, -rying or -ried (tr)
  1. to decorate (a pot, wall, etc) with scenes from history or legends

Origin of story

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

British Dictionary definitions for story (2 of 2)


/ (ˈstɔːrɪ) /

nounplural -ries
  1. 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

Other 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.