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EtymologyEdit

From Middle English, borrowed from Old French fable, from Latin fabula, from fā(rī) (to speak, say) + -bula (instrumental suffix). See ban, and compare fabulous, fame.

PronunciationEdit

  • enPR: fā′bəl, IPA(key): /ˈfeɪbəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪbəl
  • Hyphenation: fa‧ble

NounEdit

fable (plural fables)

  1. A fictitious narrative intended to enforce some useful truth or precept, usually with animals, etc. as characters; an apologue. Prototypically, Aesop's Fables.
    Synonym: morality play
  2. Any story told to excite wonder; common talk; the theme of talk.
    • 1 Timothy 4:7,
      Old wives' fables.
    • 1842, Alfred Tennyson, The Gardener's Daughter; or, The Pictures:
      [] we grew / The fable of the city where we dwelt.
    Synonym: legend
  3. Fiction; untruth; falsehood.
    • 1711, Joseph Addison, The Spectator, volume the fourth, no. 264:
      I say it wou'd look like a fable to report that this gentleman gives away all which is the overplus of a great fortune by secret methods, to other men.
  4. The plot, story, or connected series of events forming the subject of an epic or dramatic poem.
    • 1695, John Dryden, A Parallel betwixt Painting and Poetry:
      For the moral (as Bossu observes,) is the first business of the poet, as being the groundwork of his instruction. This being formed, he contrives such a design, or fable, as may be most suitable to the moral;

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

VerbEdit

fable (third-person singular simple present fables, present participle fabling, simple past and past participle fabled)

  1. (intransitive, archaic) To compose fables; hence, to write or speak fiction; to write or utter what is not true.
    • 1591, William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 1, Act IV, Scene 2,[1]
      He fables not; I hear the enemy:
      Out, some light horsemen, and peruse their wings.
    • 1706, Matthew Prior, “An Ode, Humbly Inscribed to the Queen,” stanza 17, in Samuel Johnson (editor), The Works of the English Poets, London, 1779, Volume 30, p. 254,[2]
      Vain now the tales which fabling poets tell,
      That wavering Conquest still desires to rove!
      In Marlborough’s camp the goddess knows to dwell:
      Long as the hero’s life remains her love.
    • 1852, Matthew Arnold, Empedocles on Etna, Act II, in Empedocles on Etna and Other Poems, London: B. Fellowes, p. 50,[3]
      He fables, yet speaks truth.
  2. (transitive, archaic) To make up; to devise, and speak of, as true or real; to tell of falsely; to recount in the form of a fable.
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book VI, lines 288-292,[4]
      [] err not, that so shall end
      The strife which thou callest evil, but we style
      The strife of glory; which we mean to win,
      Or turn this Heaven itself into the Hell
      Thou fablest []
    • 1691, Arthur Gorges (translator), The Wisdom of the Ancients by Francis Bacon (1609), London, “Cassandra, or, Divination,” [5]
      The Poets Fable, That Apollo being enamoured of Cassandra, was by her many shifts and cunning slights still deluded in his Desire []
    Synonyms: make up, invent, feign, devise

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

Further readingEdit

AnagramsEdit


FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old French fable, borrowed from Latin fabula.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

fable f (plural fables)

  1. fable, story

SynonymsEdit

Further readingEdit


Old FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from Latin fabula.

NounEdit

fable f (oblique plural fables, nominative singular fable, nominative plural fables)

  1. fable, story

SynonymsEdit

DescendantsEdit


SpanishEdit

VerbEdit

fable

  1. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of fablar.
  2. Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of fablar.
  3. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of fablar.
  4. Formal second-person singular (usted) imperative form of fablar.