- a report, narrative, or story
- one of a group of short stories connected by an overall narrative framework
- a malicious or meddlesome rumour or piece of gossip
- (in combination): talebearer, taleteller
- a fictitious or false statement
- tell tales ⇒ to tell fanciful lies
- to report malicious stories, trivial complaints, etc, esp to someone in authority
- tell a tale ⇒ to reveal something important
- tell its own tale ⇒ to be self-evident
- archaic a number; amount
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
- a story of an incident:the scary tale of Count Dracula.
- a lie, esp. against another:telling tales again.
- a narrative that relates the details of some real or imaginary event, incident, or case;
story:a tale about Lincoln's dog.
- a literary composition having the form of such a narrative.
- a falsehood;
- a rumor or piece of gossip, often malicious or untrue.
- the full number or amount.
- bef. 900; Middle English; Old English talu series, list, narrative, story; cognate with Dutch taal speech, language, German Zahl number, Old Norse tala number, speech. See tell1