Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Relating to or characteristic of the animal fables of Aesop.
  • adj. Using or having ambiguous or allegorical meanings, especially to elude political censorship: "They could express their views only in a diluted form, resorting to Aesopian hints and allusions” ( Isaac Deutscher).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Related to or concerning the Greek fabulist Aesop
  • adj. Characteristic of Aesop's animal fables
  • adj. Employing or having an ambiguous or allegorical meaning, especially a political meaning

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to Æsop, or in his manner.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to Æsop, an ancient Greek writer of fables, of whom little or nothing is certainly known; composed by him or in his manner: as, a fable in the Æsopian style. Also spelled Esopian.

Etymologies

From Latin Aesopius ("Aesopian"), from Ancient Greek Αἴσωπος (Aisōpos, "the famous Greek fabulist Aesop") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I presume, in the so-called Aesopian language, or, no matter what we said, we really meant its opposite.

    Statement at the Smith Act Trial

  • The second work of our poetess consists of a collection of fables, generally called Aesopian, which she translated into French verse.

    The Lay of Marie

  • In a tale with an Aesopian flavor, an ant who politely waits her turn for cake seems at first to lose but wins in the end.

    2010 January « One-Minute Book Reviews

  • The well-known joke, which has an almost Aesopian ring to it, about the running shoes and the bear is apposite.

    THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH

  • Adam Schofield examines the ways Juraj Herz's The Cremator "elicits psychological horror through its disorienting cinematography," how it "reflects trends in Nazi propaganda" and "the much-overlooked indirectly subversive Aesopian messages pertaining to communism that the film directed towards Czechoslovakian audiences of the late 1960s."

    GreenCine Daily: Senses of Cinema. 43.

  • Russia had censors and sent many journalists to Siberia, but in America Aesopian writing “for discerning readers” does not have that excuse.

    Matthew Yglesias » Al-Qaeda in Iraq

  • To back his Aesopian premise he also suggests that Stella Rimington was merely rambling on and apparently she doesn't understand the 'the genuine threat that new forms of terrorism pose' which kind of left me wondering whether the chutzpah of this man has an end.

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • I did an entire month online through Scholastic with kids writing Aesopian fables in rhyme.

    Awards: who needs 'em?

  • This is wonderful, of course, but even this published mode enforces very short stories whose first priority seems to be the deliverance of an Aesopian moral (certainly not all, exceptions do exist).

    Archive 2004-09-01

  • Nay, the Aesopian apologue even saith that certain petty country gents of the lower class, who had sold

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

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