tale W3 [countable]
a story about exciting imaginary events
tales of adventure
a book of old Japanese folk tales (=traditional stories)
a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen
a cautionary tale (=one that is told to warn people about the dangers of something )
a description of interesting or exciting things that happened to someone, often one which is not completely true about every detail
tales of her life in post-war Berlin
3 British English
to tell someone in authority about something wrong that someone else has done [= tattle American English]
tell tales to
Don't go telling tales to the teacher!
a description of events that made you unhappy
a series of bad things that happened to someone:
The England team's tale of woe continued, and they lost the next three games.