American English

Definition of story noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (pl. stories)
    jump to other results
    description of events
  1. 1story (about/of something/somebody) a description of events and people that the writer or speaker has invented in order to entertain people adventure/detective/love, etc. stories a story about time travel Would you like me to tell you a story? He read the children a story. a bedtime story Topic CollocationsLiteraturebeing a writer write/publish literature/poetry/fiction/a book/a story/a poem/a novel/a review/an autobiography become a writer/novelist/playwright find/have a publisher/an agent have a new book out edit/revise/proofread a book/text/manuscript dedicate a book/poem to…plot, character, and atmosphere construct/create/weave/weave something into a complex narrative advance/drive the plot introduce/present the protagonist/a character describe/depict/portray a character (as…)/(somebody as) a hero/villain create an exciting/a tense atmosphere build/heighten the suspense/tension evoke/capture the pathos of the situation convey emotion/an idea/an impression/a sense of… engage the reader seize/capture/grip the (reader's) imagination arouse/elicit emotion/sympathy (in the reader) lack imagination/emotion/structure/rhythmlanguage, style, and imagery use/employ language/imagery/humor/an image/a symbol/a metaphor/a device use/adopt/develop a style/technique be rich in/be full of symbolism evoke images of…/a sense of…/a feeling of… create/achieve an effect maintain/lighten the tone introduce/develop an idea/a theme inspire a novel/a poet/somebody's work/somebody's imaginationreading and criticism read an author/somebody's work/fiction/poetry/a text/an article/a poem/a novel/a chapter/a passage review an article/a book/a novel/somebody's work give something/get/have/receive a good/bad review be hailed (as)/be recognized as a masterpiece quote a phrase/a line/a stanza/a passage/an author provoke/spark discussion/criticism study/interpret/understand a text/passage translate somebody's work/a text/a passage/a novel/a poem see also ghost story, short story
  2. 2story (about/of something/somebody) an account, often spoken, of what happened to someone or of how something happened It was many years before the full story was made public. The police didn't believe her story. We must stick to our story about the accident. I can't decide until I've heard both sides of the story. It's a story of courage. Many years later I returned to Africa, but that's another story (= I am not going to talk about it now). see also cock and bull story, hard-luck story, life story, shaggy-dog story, sob story, success story Thesaurusreportstory account versionThese are all words for a written or spoken account of a written or spoken account of an event, especially one that is published or broadcast:We're getting reports of fighting in the south of the country.story an account, often spoken, of what happened to someone, or of how something happened; a report of events in a newspaper, magazine, or news broadcast:It was many years before the full story was made public. the front-page storyaccount a written or spoken description of something that has happened:He gave the police a full account of the or account?A report is always of recent events, especially news. An account may be of events in the recent or distant past.version a description of an event from the point of view of a particular person or group of people:She gave us her version of what had happened that day.Patterns a report/story about something a(n) report/account/version of something a brief/short report/story/account a/the full report/story/account/version a news report/story to give a(n) report/account/version
  3. 3an account of past events or of how something has developed He told us the story of his life. the story of the Grateful Dead the story of the building of the bridge
  4. 4a report in a newspaper, magazine, or news broadcast a front-page story Now for a summary of tonight's main news stories. see also cover story, lead story
  5. 5(also storyline) the series of events in a book, movie, play, etc. synonym plot Her novels always have the same basic story.
  6. something that is not true
  7. 6(informal) something that someone says that is not true
  8. level of building
  9. 7a level of a building; a floor the upper/lower story of the house a single-story/two-story building
  10. Idioms
    it's a long story (informal)
    jump to other results
    used to say that the reasons for something are complicated and you would prefer not to give all the details
    a likely story (informal) (ironic)
    jump to other results
    used to show that you do not believe what someone has said You just found it lying in the street? A likely story!
    the (same) old story
    jump to other results
    what usually happens It's the same old story of a badly managed project with inadequate funding.
    pitch a story/line/yarn (to somebody) (informal)
    jump to other results
    to tell someone a story or make an excuse that is not true
    the story goes (that)…, so the story goes
    jump to other results
    used to describe something that people are saying although it may not be correct She never saw him again—or so the story goes.
    tell a different story/tale
    jump to other results
    to give some information that is different from what you expect or have been told
    tell its own tale/story
    jump to other results
    to explain itself, without needing any further explanation or comment Her face told its own story.
    that's the story of my life (informal)
    jump to other results
    when you say that's the story of my life about an unfortunate experience you have had, you mean you have had many similar experiences Another missed opportunity—that's the story of my life!
    to make a long story short (informal)
    jump to other results
    used when you are saying that you will get to the point of what you are saying quickly, without including all the details To make a long story short, we didn't get home until 3 in the morning!
Which Word?story / floor You use story mainly when you are talking about the number of levels a building has:a two-story house The office building is five stories high. Floor is used mainly to talk about which particular level in the building someone lives on, goes to, etc:His office is on the fifth floor.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: story