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



    BrE BrE//ˈstɔːri//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈstɔːri//
    (pl. stories) Elements of a play, Film reviews and promotion, Film plots
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  1. 1  story (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 Shall I tell you a story? He read the children a story. a bedtime story 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/​humour/(especially US English) 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/​a poem/​a novel/​a chapter/​a passage review 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(n) phrase/​line/​stanza/​passage/​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 fairy story, ghost story, short story Wordfindercomic, far-fetched, gripping, historical, mannered, moving, rambling, readable, story, tragic
  2. 2  story (about/of something/somebody) an account, often spoken, of what happened to somebody 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, tall story Synonymsreport story account versionThese are all words for a written or spoken account of events.report a written or spoken account of an event, especially one that is published or broadcast:Are these newspaper reports true?story an account, often spoken, of what happened to somebody 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:She gave the police a full account of the incident.report or account?A report is always of recent events, especially news. An account may be of recent or past events.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 brief/​short report/​story/​account a full report/​story/​account/​version a news report/​story to give a(n) report/​account/​version
  3. 3  an account of past events or of how something has developed He told us the story of his life. the story of the Beatles the story of the building of the bridge
  4. 4  a 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, film/movie, play, etc. synonym plot Her novels always have the same basic story. See related entries: Elements of a play, Film reviews and promotion, Film plots
  6. 6(informal) something that somebody says which is not true She knew the child had been telling stories again.
  7. 7(North American English) = storey
  8. Word OriginMiddle English (denoting a historical account or representation): shortening of Anglo-Norman French estorie, from Latin historia from Greek historia ‘finding out, narrative, history’, from histōr ‘learned, wise man’, from an Indo-European root shared by wit ‘have knowledge’.Extra examples ‘How come you’ve only got one shoe on?’ ‘It’s a long story.’ A story was going around that the factory was in line for closure. According to Rachel’s version of the story, they threw the key in the river. And now back to our top story tonight… Antidepressants are widely believed to be effective medications. The data, however, tell a different story. Anyway, to cut a long story short, we had this argument and I haven’t seen him since. Anyway, to cut a long story short= not to give all the details, we had this argument and I haven’t seen him since. At first he denied everything, but then he changed his story and said it was an accident. Every newspaper carried the story. Full story on page 3. He said he’d met Madonna. A likely story. He was boring people with more of his hard-luck stories. He’s covering the story in Gaza for CNN. His life was a sorry story of betrayal and rejection. I suspected he hadn’t told us the whole story. Many years later I returned to Africa but that’s another story. Many years later I returned to Africa—but that’s another story= I am not going to talk about it now. More than one correspondent filed a story about the incident. My dad sometimes read me a story at bedtime. National Geographic ran a feature story on dinosaurs. No one would believe such a tall story. Out of work with no money—that’s the story of my life. She gave me some sob story about losing her credit cards. She told the police a false story about being attacked. She told them her life story. Stories abound of vandalism and looting. The New York Times broke the story and others picked it up. The biggest story of the day was the signing of the peace agreement. The film is the rags-to-riches story of a country girl who becomes a famous singer. The film lacks a coherent story. The film tells the improbable story of a monkey that becomes a politician. The magazine chose the peace process as its cover story. The magazine gives the inside story of life in a rock band. The moral of this story is that you should never take things for granted. The motives of the hero become clearer as the story unfolds. The official story was that the singer had broken his arm falling in the shower. The screenplay sticks to the original story. The story broke in January. The story is set in India in the 1930s. The story opens with a man hiding from the police under a woman’s skirt. The teacher punished me without listening to my side of the story. There is one popular story in the town of a man-eating cat that lives in the forest. This story illustrates the dangers of living on credit. We had difficulty in piecing together the fragments of her story. We swapped stories about our worst teachers. We will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest developments. We’ll have more on this breaking story as developments come in to us. a collection of short stories a collection of stories by modern writers a story of moral redemption his first published short story lurid stories of politicians’ sexual adventures scare stories about the harmful effects of the vaccination the epic story of a family’s escape from war the familiar story of a star who turns to drink and drugs the story of his arrest He was covering the story for the ‘Glasgow Herald’. He’s been spreading malicious stories about you. I always read the children a bedtime story. I can’t decide until I’ve heard both sides of the story. Now for a summary of the day’s main stories. Shall I tell you a story? Sounds like another one of his tall stories to me. The story goes that this castle was founded by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. a/​an adventure/​detective/​ghost/​love story the front-page/​cover storyIdioms (informal, ironic) used to show that you do not believe what somebody has said You just found it lying in the street? A likely story! what usually happens It's the same old story of a badly managed project with inadequate funding.
    pitch a story/line/yarn (to somebody)
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    (informal) to tell somebody a story or make an excuse that is not true
    the story goes (that)…, so the story goes
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    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
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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.
    that’s the story of my life
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    (informal) 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 cut a long story short (British English) (North American English to make a long story short)
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    (informal) used when you are saying that you will get to the point of what you are saying quickly, without including all the details To cut a long story short, we didn’t get home until 3 in the morning!
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: story