A narrative is a story that you write or tell to someone, usually in great detail. A narrative can be a work of poetry or prose, or even song, theater, or dance.

Often a narrative is meant to include the "whole story." A summary will give a few key details and then the narrative will delve into the details. "I hate to interrupt your narrative," is a polite way of stopping someone in the middle of a story. The origin of this noun is the Latin adjective narrativus, from narrare "to tell," from gnarus "knowing." It is related to our English verb know.

Definitions of narrative

n a message that tells the particulars of an act or occurrence or course of events; presented in writing or drama or cinema or as a radio or television program

“his narrative was interesting”
narration, story, tale
Canterbury Tales
an uncompleted series of tales written after 1387 by Geoffrey Chaucer
Arabian Nights' Entertainment
a collection of folktales in Arabic dating from the 10th century
show 6 types...
hide 6 types...
an excessively sentimental narrative
tall tale
an improbable (unusual or incredible or fanciful) story
folk tale, folktale
a tale circulated by word of mouth among the common folk
sob story, sob stuff
a sentimental story (or drama) of personal distress; designed to arouse sympathy
fairy story, fairy tale, fairytale
a story about fairies; told to amuse children
nursery rhyme
a tale in rhymed verse for children
Type of:
content, message, subject matter, substance
what a communication that is about something is about

adj consisting of or characterized by the telling of a story

narrative poetry”
communicative, communicatory
able or tending to communicate

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.