Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: estorie, from Latin historia; HISTORY


sto‧ry S2 W2 plural stories [countable]

for entertainment

a description of how something happened, that is intended to entertain people, and may be true or imaginary [↪ tale]
story about/of
a story about a princess
fairy/ghost/love etc story
a detective story
tell/read somebody a story
Mommy, will you read me a story?
We cuddled together over a bedtime story.
The film was based on a true story.
Don't be frightened - it's only a story (=it is imaginary).


a report in a newspaper or news broadcast about a recent event:
a front-page story
'The Observer' ran a story about the scandal (=reported it).
cover story (=the main story in a magazine, that is about the picture on the cover)


an account of something that has happened, usually one that people tell each other, and which may not be true:
The full story of what happened has never been reported.
Her parents did not believe her story.
First he wanted to hear Matthew's side of the story (=his description of what happened).
He was having an affair with Julie, or so the story goes (=people are saying this).


an excuse or explanation, especially one that you have invented:
Where were you? And don't give me some story about working late!
Well that's my story (=that is what I say happened), and I'm sticking to it.


a description of the most important events in someone's life or in the development of something:
the Charlie Parker Story
He wanted to have his life story told on film.


American English a floor or level of a building [= storey British English]
a fifty-story building

of a film/play etc

A what happens in a film, play, or book [= plot]:
The story is similar in all her books.

it's the same story here/there/in ...

used to say the same thing is happening in another place:
Unemployment is falling in the US and it's the same story in Europe.
9 spoken

it's the same old story

used to say that the present bad situation has often happened before:
It's the same old story - too much work and not enough time.
10 spoken

it's a long story

XX used to tell someone that you do not want to give them all the details that a full answer to their question would need
11 spoken

to cut a long story short

also to make a long story short American English used when you only give the main point of something you are talking about, and not all the other details
12 spoken

but that's another story

used when you have mentioned something that you are not going to talk about on this occasion
13 spoken

that's not the whole story

used to say that there are more details which people need to know in order to understand the situation
14 spoken

that's the story of my life

used after a disappointing experience to mean that similar disappointing things always seem to happen to you
15 spoken

end of story

used to say that there is nothing more to say about a particular subject:
As far as I'm concerned Terry is still a friend, end of story.

a different story

used to say that something is not what you expect it to be:
It looks like a big house, but inside it's a different story.


a lie - used by children or when speaking to children:
You shouldn't tell stories.
short story

➔ cock and bull story

at cock1 (4)
hard-luck story, sob story

➔ success story

at success (5)
see usage note storeyWORD CHOICE: WORD CHOICE:

storey, story, floor
Storey (BrE) or story (AmE) is usually used to talk about the structure of a building a building dozens of storeys high a three-storey houseThe plural of story is stories The office block was 20 stories high.To talk about where someone or something is in a building, use floor We went up to the top floor. He works on the fifteenth floor. Is there a bathroom on this floor?See also storey

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