- The definition of a tale is a story, either real or fiction, that is told.
An example of a tale is one of Aesop’s Fables.
- Tale means a lie.
An example of a tale is a child’s excuse about their missing homework.
Many a tale begins with "Once upon a time".
- something told or related; relation or recital of happenings
- a story or account of true, legendary, or fictitious events; narrative
- a literary composition in narrative form
- a piece of gossip
- a falsehood; lie
- Archaic a tally; count
- Obsolete the act of telling
Origin of taleMiddle English ; from Old English talu, speech, number, akin to German zahl, number, Dutch taal, speech ; from Indo-European base an unverified form del-, to aim, reckon, trick from source Classical Greek dolos, Classical Latin dolus, guile, artifice
- A recital of events or happenings; a report or revelation: told us a long tale of woe.
- A malicious story, piece of gossip, or petty complaint.
- A deliberate lie; a falsehood.
- A narrative of real or imaginary events; a story.
- Archaic A tally or reckoning; a total.
Origin of taleMiddle English, from Old English talu; see del-2 in Indo-European roots.
- (rare or archaic) Numbering; enumeration; reckoning; account; count.
- (rare or archaic) A number of things considered as an aggregate; sum.
- (rare or archaic) A report of any matter; a relation; a version.
- An account of an asserted fact or circumstance; a rumour; a report, especially an idle or malicious story; a piece of gossip or slander; a lie.
- Don't tell tales!
- A rehearsal of what has occurred; narrative; discourse; statement; history; story.
- the Canterbury Tales
- A number told or counted off; a reckoning by count; an enumeration.
- (slang) The fraudulent opportunity presented by a confidence man to the mark (sense 3.3) of a confidence game.
From Middle English, from Old English talu (“tale, series, calculation, list, statement, deposition, relation, communication, narrative, fable, story, accusation, action at law”), from Proto-Germanic *talō (“calculation, number”), from Proto-Indo-European *del- (“to reckon, count”). Cognate with Dutch taal (“language, speech”), German Zahl (“number, figure”), Danish tale (“speech”), Icelandic tala (“speech, talk, discourse, number, figure”), Latin dolus (“guile, deceit, fraud”), Ancient Greek [script?] (dólos, “wile, bait”), Albanian dalloj (“to distinguish, tell”), Kurdish til (“finger”), Old Armenian տող (toł, “row”). Related to tell, talk.
(third-person singular simple present tales, present participle taling, simple past and past participle taled)
From Middle English talen, from Old English talian (“to count, calculate, reckon, account, consider, think, esteem, value, argue, tell, relate, impute, assign”), from Proto-Germanic *talōną (“to count”), from Proto-Indo-European *del- (“to count, reckon, aim, calculate, adjust”). Cognate with German zählen (“to count, number, reckon”), Swedish tala (“to speak, talk”), Icelandic tala (“to talk”).
- Alternative form of tael.