A tale is a story, especially one that's full of creative embellishments. You can read a tale from a book, or tell a bedtime tale to the kids you're babysitting.

Tales can be true or fictional, but they generally consist of a narrative, with a beginning and an end, made more interesting and exciting with vivid details. Some tales are meant to teach specific lessons (like your family's history or your community's values), while others simply relay a funny story. Tale can also mean "lie," like when your mom asks, "You're not telling a tale, are you?"

Definitions of tale

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

narration, narrative, story
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
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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

n a trivial lie

fib, story, taradiddle, tarradiddle
cock-and-bull story, fairy story, fairy tale, fairytale, song and dance
an interesting but highly implausible story; often told as an excuse
Type of:
lie, prevarication
a statement that deviates from or perverts the truth

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