tale

[ teyl ]
/ teɪl /

noun


Nearby words

  1. talcahuano,
  2. talcose,
  3. talcosis,
  4. talcum,
  5. talcum powder,
  6. tale of genji, the,
  7. tale of two cities, a,
  8. taleb,
  9. talebearer,
  10. talent

Origin of tale

before 900; Middle English; Old English talu series, list, narrative, story; cognate with Dutch taal speech, language, German Zahl number, Old Norse tala number, speech. See tell1

Can be confusedtail tale

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

Examples from the Web for tale


British Dictionary definitions for tale

tale

/ (teɪl) /

noun

Word Origin for tale

Old English talu list; related to Old Frisian tele talk, Old Saxon, Old Norse tala talk, number, Old High German zala number

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 tale

tale

n.

Old English talu "story, tale, the action of telling," from Proto-Germanic *talo (cf. Dutch taal "speech, language"), from PIE root *del- "to recount, count." The secondary English sense of "number, numerical reckoning" (c.1200) probably was the primary one in Germanic; cf. teller (see tell) and Old Frisian tale, Middle Dutch tal "number," Old Saxon tala "number," Old High German zala, German Zahl "number."

The ground sense of the Modern English word in its main meaning, then, might have been "an account of things in their due order." Related to talk and tell. Meaning "things divulged that were given secretly, gossip" is from mid-14c.; first record of talebearer "tattletale" is late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with tale

tale

see old wives' tale; tall tale; tell tales; thereby hangs a tale.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.