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  1. A feigned story or tale, intended to instruct or amuse; a fictitious narration intended to enforce some useful truth or precept; an apologue.
  • Jotham's fable of the trees is the oldest extant. - w:Joseph Addison, Joseph Addison.
    1. The plot, story, or connected series of events, forming the subject of an epic or dramatic poem.
  • The moral is the first business of the poet; this being formed, he contrives such a design or fable as may be most suitable to the moral. - w:John Dryden, John Dryden.
    1. Any story told to excite wonder; common talk; the theme of talk.
  • Quotations
  • Old wives' fables. - 1 Timothy 4:7
  • We grew The fable of the city where we dwelt. - w:Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson.
    1. Fiction; untruth; falsehood.
  • Quotations
  • It would look like a fable to report that this gentleman gives away a great fortune by secret methods. - Joseph Addison.
  • verb (fabl, ing)
    1. (intransitive) To compose fables; hence, to write or speak fiction ; to write or utter what is not true.
    • He Fables not. - Shakespeare, 1 Henry VI, IV-ii.
  • Vain now the tales which fabling poets tell. - Matthew Prior
  • He fables, yet speaks truth. - Matthew Arnold.
    1. (transitive) To feign; to invent; to devise, and speak of, as true or real; to tell of falsely.
  • Quotations
  • The hell thou fablest. - w:John Milton, John Milton.
  • Etymology: French, from Latin fabula, from fari to speak, say. See Ban, and compare fabulous, fame.

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