Language: Old English
Origin: talu


tale W3 [countable]
1AL a story about exciting imaginary events
tale of
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 )
2 a description of interesting or exciting things that happened to someone, often one which is not completely true about every detail
tale of/about
tales of her life in post-war Berlin
tale of/about how
He was in the middle of telling me a long tale about how he once met the Redskins' manager.

tell tales

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!

tale of woe

a) a description of events that made you unhappy
b) a series of bad things that happened to someone:
The England team's tale of woe continued, and they lost the next three games.
fairy tale

; ➔ old wives' tale

at old (24)

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