English edit

 
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Etymology edit

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

Pronunciation edit

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

Noun edit

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.
    Synonym: legend
  3. Fiction; untruth; falsehood.
  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 terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb edit

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 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Sixt”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene ii], page 111, column 2:
      He Fables not, I heare the enemie: / Out ſome light Horſemen, and peruſe their Wings.
    • 1709, Mat[thew] Prior, “An Ode, Humbly Inscrib’d to the Queen”, in Poems on Several Occasions, London: [] Jacob Tonson [], →OCLC, stanza XVII, page 287:
      Vain now the Tales which fab’ling Poets tell, / That wav’ring Conqueſt ſtill deſires to rove; / In Marlbrô’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,[1]
      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.
    Synonyms: make up, invent, feign, devise
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book VI”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker []; [a]nd by Robert Boulter []; [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], →OCLC, lines 288–292:
      [] erre not that ſo ſhall end / The ſtrife of Glorie: which we mean to win, / Or turn this Heav’n itſelf into the Hell / Thou fableſt []
    • 1691, “Cassandra, or, Divination”, in Arthur Gorges, transl., The Wisdom of the Ancients, London, translation of [De Sapientia Veterum] by Francis Bacon, page 1:
      THE Poets Fable, That Apollo being enamoured of Caſſandra, was by her many ſhifts and cunning ſlights ſtill deluded in his Deſire []
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 2: Nestor]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare and Company, [], →OCLC, part I [Telemachia], page 24:
      Fabled by the daughters of memory. And yet it was in some way if not as memory fabled it. A phrase, then, of impatience, thud of Blake’s wings of excess.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit

French edit

French  Wikisource has original text related to this entry:

Wikisource fr

Etymology edit

Inherited from Old French fable, borrowed from Latin fabula.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

fable f (plural fables)

  1. fable, story
    Synonyms: conte, histoire

Related terms edit

Descendants edit

  • Turkish: fabl

Further reading edit

Norwegian Bokmål edit

Etymology edit

From the noun fabel, ultimately from Latin fabula, from fā(rī) (to speak, say) + -bula (instrumental suffix).

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

fable (imperative fabl or fable, present tense fabler, passive fables, simple past and past participle fabla or fablet)

  1. to fantasize, dream
    fable om suksess
    dream about success

Derived terms edit

References edit

Norwegian Nynorsk edit

Etymology edit

From the noun fabel, ultimately from Latin fabula, from fā(rī) (to speak, say) + -bula (instrumental suffix).

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

fable (imperative fabl, present tense fablar, simple past and past participle fabla)

  1. to fantasize, dream
    fable om suksess
    dream about success
  2. to make up (something)

Derived terms edit

References edit

Old French edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from Latin fabula.

Noun edit

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

  1. fable, story

Synonyms edit

Descendants edit