Definition of tale noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    tale

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//teɪl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//teɪl//
     
    Types of story
     
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  1. 1a story created using the imagination, especially one that is full of action and adventure Dickens’ ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ a fairy/moral/romantic, etc. tale His latest book is a delightful children’s tale about talking animals. see also folk tale See related entries: Types of story
  2. 2an exciting spoken description of an event, which may not be completely true I love listening to his tales of life at sea. I've heard tales of people seeing ghosts in that house. The team's tale of woe continued on Saturday (= they lost another match). Her experiences provide a cautionary tale (= a warning) for us all. see also telltale
  3. Word Origin Old English talu ‘telling, something told’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch taal ‘speech’ and German Zahl ‘number’, also to tell.Extra examples She regaled us with tales of her wild youth. She was tired of hearing the same dreary tale of drunkenness and violence. Winning the French Open was a fairy-tale end to her career. a dark tale of sexual obsession a tale about a hungry snake a tale set in 19th-century Moscow a tall tale that would fool no one an epic tale of courage and heroism tales of adventure the curious tale of the man who sold his hair the rags-to-riches tale of an orphan who becomes a star the sorry tale of his marriage breakdown Dickens’ ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ Her experiences provide a cautionary tale for us all. His latest book is a delightful children’s tale about talking animals. I’ve heard tales of people seeing ghosts in that house. It’s a moral tale about a baker and a shoemaker. The team’s tale of woe continued on Saturday.Idioms
    live, etc. to tell the tale
     
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    to survive a difficult or dangerous experience so that you can tell others what really happened
    (disapproving) an old idea or belief that has been proved not to be scientific
    tell a different story/tale
     
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    to give some information that is different from what you expect or have been told
    tell its own tale/story
     
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    to explain itself, without needing any further explanation or comment Her face told its own story.
    tell tales (about something/on somebody)
     
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    to tell somebody about something that another person has done wrong related noun telltale
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: tale