parable

A parable is a short and simple story that teaches a religious or moral lesson. The parable of the Good Samaritan and the parable of the Prodigal Son are just two examples of the many parables attributed to Jesus, as recorded in the four gospels.

Parable descends from the Greek parabolē "a comparison, analogy," from paraballein "to compare," from the prefix para- "beside" plus ballein "to throw." The sense of comparing, or throwing an idea beside another, is at the heart of the word. When you hear a parable, you're meant to use the comparison to learn how to act––the fox's "sour grapes" are compared to your own downgrading of the thing you cannot have.

DEFINITIONS OF: parable

1

n a short moral story (often with animal characters)

Synonyms:
allegory, apologue, fable
Examples:
Pilgrim's Progress
an allegory written by John Bunyan in 1678
Types:
Aesop's fables
a collection of fables believed to have been written by the Greek storyteller Aesop
Type of:
story
a piece of fiction that narrates a chain of related events

n (New Testament) any of the stories told by Jesus to convey his religious message

“the parable of the prodigal son”
Type of:
story
a piece of fiction that narrates a chain of related events
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