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Tale definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

TALE, n. [See Tell.] A story; a narrative; the rehearsal of a series of events or adventures, commonly some trifling incidents; or a fictitious narrative; as the tale of a tub. Marmontel's tales; idle tales. Luke 24.
We spend our years as a tale that is told Psalms 90.
1. Oral relation.
2. Reckoning; account set down. Exodus 5.
In packing, they keep a just tale of the number.
3. Number reckoned.
--The ignorant who measure by tale, not be weight.
4. A telling; information; disclosure of any thing secret.
Birds--are aptest by their voice to tell tales what they find.
In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood. Ezek 22.
5. In law, a count or declaration. [Tale, in this sense, is obsolete.]
6. In commerce, a weight for gold and silver in China and other parts of the E. Indies; also, a money of account. In China, each tale is 10 maces=100 candareens-1000 cash.
TALE, v.i. To tell stories.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a message that tells the particulars of an act or occurrence or course of events; presented in writing or drama or cinema or as a radio or television program; "his narrative was interesting"; "Disney's stories entertain adults as well as children" [syn: narrative, narration, story, tale]
2: a trivial lie; "he told a fib about eating his spinach"; "how can I stop my child from telling stories?" [syn: fib, story, tale, tarradiddle, taradiddle]

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English talu; akin to Old Norse tala talk Date: before 12th century 1. obsolete discourse, talk 2. a. a series of events or facts told or presented ; account b. (1) a report of a private or confidential matter <dead men tell no tales> (2) a libelous report or piece of gossip 3. a. a usually imaginative narrative of an event ; story b. an intentionally untrue report ; falsehood <always preferred the tale to the truth Sir Winston Churchill> 4. a. count, tally b. total

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. 1 a narrative or story, esp. fictitious and imaginatively treated. 2 a report of an alleged fact, often malicious or in breach of confidence (all sorts of tales will get about). 3 archaic or literary a number or total (the tale is complete). Phrases and idioms: tale of a tub an idle fiction. Etymology: OE talu f. Gmc: cf. TELL(1)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Tael Tael, n. [Malay ta?l, a certain weight, probably fr. Hind. tola, Skr. tul[=a] a balance, weight, tul to weigh.] A denomination of money, in China, worth nearly six shillings sterling, or about a dollar and forty cents; also, a weight of one ounce and a third. [Written also tale.]

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Tale Tale, v. i. To tell stories. [Obs.] --Chaucer. Gower.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Tale Tale, n. See Tael.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Tale Tale, n. [AS. talu number, speech, narrative; akin to D. taal speech, language, G. zahl number, OHG. zala, Icel. tal, tala, number, speech, Sw. tal, Dan. tal number, tale speech, Goth. talzjan to instruct. Cf. Tell, v. t., Toll a tax, also Talk, v. i.] 1. That which is told; an oral relation or recital; any rehearsal of what has occured; narrative; discourse; statement; history; story. ``The tale of Troy divine.'' --Milton. ``In such manner rime is Dante's tale.'' --Chaucer. We spend our years as a tale that is told. --Ps. xc. 9. 2. A number told or counted off; a reckoning by count; an enumeration; a count, in distinction from measure or weight; a number reckoned or stated. The ignorant, . . . who measure by tale, and not by weight. --Hooker. And every shepherd tells his tale, Under the hawthornn in the dale. --Milton. In packing, they keep a just tale of the number. --Carew. 3. (Law) A count or declaration. [Obs.] To tell tale of, to make account of. [Obs.] Therefore little tale hath he told Of any dream, so holy was his heart. --Chaucer. Syn: Anecdote; story; fable; incident; memoir; relation; account; legend; narrative.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(tales) Frequency: The word is one of the 3000 most common words in English. 1. A tale is a story, often involving magic or exciting events. ...a collection of stories, poems and folk tales... N-COUNT; N-IN-NAMES 2. You can refer to an interesting, exciting, or dramatic account of a real event as a tale. The media have been filled with tales of horror and loss resulting from Monday's earthquake. = story N-COUNT: usu with supp, oft N of n 3. see also fairy tale, old wives' tale, tall tale 4. If you survive a dangerous or frightening experience and so are able to tell people about it afterwards, you can say that you lived to tell the tale. You lived to tell the tale this time but who knows how far you can push your luck. PHRASE: V inflects 5. If someone tells tales about you, they tell other people things about you which are untrue or which you wanted to be kept secret. I hesitated, not wanting to tell tales about my colleague. PHRASE: V inflects see also tell-tale

Easton's Bible Dictionary

(1.) Heb. tokhen, "a task," as weighed and measured out = tally, i.e., the number told off; the full number (Ex. 5:18; see 1 Sam. 18:27; 1 Chr. 9:28). In Ezek. 45:11 rendered "measure."

(2.) Heb. hegeh, "a thought;" "meditation" (Ps. 90:9); meaning properly "as a whisper of sadness," which is soon over, or "as a thought." The LXX. and Vulgate render it "spider;" the Authorized Version and Revised Version, "as a tale" that is told. In Job 37:2 this word is rendered "sound;" Revised Version margin, "muttering;" and in Ezek. 2:10, "mourning."

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

tal (tokhen, mithkoneth, micpar; leros): In the King James Version of the Old Testament (with one exception, Ps 90:9) "tale" (in the sing.) means number. "Tell" often has the same meaning, e.g. "I may tell (i.e. reckon) all my bones" (Ps 22:17). When Moses requested permission to go three days' journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to Yahweh, Pharaoh replied by demanding the full "tale" of bricks from the Israelites although they were compelled to provide themselves with straw (Ex 5:8,18; see also 1Sa 18:27; 1Ch 9:28). In Ps 90:9, "as a tale that is told" is a doubtful rendering (see GAMES). The Septuagint and the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) render "as a spider's web." The literal and perhaps accurate translation is "as a sigh" (Driver, in the Parallel Psalter, gives "as a murmur"). The word used in this psalm means "to whisper," or "speak sotto voce," as a devout believer repeats to himself the words of a favorite hymn or passage (Ps 1:2).

The disciples considered the account given by the women in regard to the resurrection as "idle tales" (the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "idle talk"), literally, "nonsensical talk" (Lu 24:11).

In talebearer the word has another meaning, namely, "slanderous talk or gossip." The word occurs 5 times in Pr 11:13; 18:8; 20:19; 26:20,22 (the King James Version) and once in Leviticus (19:16). The word used in Leviticus and also in Pr 20:19 means a person who gads about from house to house hawking malicious gossip (compare 1Ti 5:13). From the same root comes the Hebrew word for "merchant." In Eze 22:9 for the King James Version "men that carry tales" the Revised Version (British and American) gives "slanderous men," as Doeg (1Sa 22:9,22); Ziba (2Sa 16:3; 19:27); and a certain maid-servant (2Sa 17:17).


T. Lewis

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. 1. Oral relation, story, account, that which is told, rehearsal, narrative. 2. Story, fable, legend, narrative, relation, apologue, parable, novel, romance. 3. Information, anything disclosed. 4. Account, count, reckoning.

Moby Thesaurus

account, aggregate, all, amount, anecdotage, anecdote, back-fence gossip, backbiting, backstabbing, be-all and end-all, belittlement, blague, box score, calumny, canard, cast, chitchat, chronicle, cock-and-bull story, count, defamation, depreciation, difference, disparagement, entirety, enumerate, epic, epos, exaggeration, fabrication, fairy tale, falsehood, falsification, falsity, farfetched story, farrago, fib, fiction, fish story, flam, flimflam, ghost story, gossip, gossiping, gossipmongering, gossipry, groundless rumor, half-truth, history, idle talk, legal fiction, libel, lie, little white lie, mendacity, misrepresentation, myth, narration, narrative, newsmongering, number, numerate, piece of gossip, pious fiction, prevarication, product, quantity, recital, reckoning, record, report, rumor, saga, scandal, score, scuttlebutt, slander, slight stretching, story, sum, sum total, summation, talebearing, taletelling, talk, tall story, tall tale, tally, taradiddle, tattle, tell, the bottom line, the story, the whole story, tittle-tattle, total, totality, tote, trumped-up story, untruth, white lie, whole, x number, yam, yarn


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