Definitions

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

  • n. A recital of events or happenings; a report or revelation: told us a long tale of woe.
  • n. A malicious story, piece of gossip, or petty complaint.
  • n. A deliberate lie; a falsehood.
  • n. A narrative of real or imaginary events; a story.
  • n. Archaic A tally or reckoning; a total.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Number.
  • n. Account; estimation; regard; heed.
  • n. Speech; language.
  • n. A speech; a statement; talk; conversation; discourse.
  • n. A count; declaration.
  • n. Numbering; enumeration; reckoning; account; count.
  • n. A number of things considered as an aggregate; sum.
  • n. A report of any matter; a relation; a version.
  • n. An account of an asserted fact or circumstance; a rumour; a report, especially an idle or malicious story; a piece of gossip or slander; a lie.
  • n. a type of story.
  • n. A number told or counted off; a reckoning by count; an enumeration.
  • n. The fraudulent opportunity presented by a confidence man to the mark (sense 3.3) of a confidence game
  • v. To speak; discourse; tell tales.
  • v. To reckon; consider (someone) to have something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See tael.
  • n. That which is told; an oral relation or recital; any rehearsal of what has occured; narrative; discourse; statement; history; story.
  • n. A number told or counted off; a reckoning by count; an enumeration; a count, in distinction from measure or weight; a number reckoned or stated.
  • n. A count or declaration.
  • intransitive v. To tell stories.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To speak; discourse; tell tales.
  • n. Number.
  • n. Numbering; enumeration; reckoning; account; count.
  • n. A number of things considered as an aggregate; a sum.
  • n. Account; estimation; regard; heed. See to give tale, below.
  • n. Speech; language.
  • n. A speech; a statement; talk; conversation; discourse.
  • n. A report of any matter; a relation; a version.
  • n. In law, a count; a declaration.
  • n. An account of an assorted fact or circumstance; a rumor; a report; especially, an idle or malicious story; a piece of gossip or slander; a lie: as, to tell tales.
  • n. A narrative, oral or written (in prose or verse), of some real or imaginary event or group of events: a story, either true or fictitious, having for its aim to please or instruct, or to preserve move or less remote historical facts; more especially, a story displaying embellishment or invention.
  • n. to agree; concur; be in accord.
  • n. See tael.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a message that tells the particulars of an act or occurrence or course of events; presented in writing or drama or cinema or as a radio or television program
  • n. a trivial lie

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English talu; see del-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old English talu ("tale, series, calculation, list, statement, deposition, relation, communication, narrative, fable, story, accusation, action at law"), from Proto-Germanic *talō (“calculation, number”), from Proto-Indo-European *del- (“to reckon, count”). Cognate with Dutch taal ("language, speech"), German Zahl ("number, figure"), Danish tale ("speech"), Icelandic tala ("speech, talk, discourse, number, figure"), Latin dolus ("guile, deceit, fraud"), Ancient Greek  (dólos, "wile, bait"), Albanian dalloj ("to distinguish, tell"), Kurdish til ("finger"), Old Armenian տող (toł, "row"). Related to tell, talk. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English talen, from Old English talian ("to count, calculate, reckon, account, consider, think, esteem, value, argue, tell, relate, impute, assign"), from Proto-Germanic *talōnan (“to count”), from Proto-Indo-European *del- (“to count, reckon, aim, calculate, adjust”). Cognate with German zählen ("to count, number, reckon"), Swedish tala ("to speak, talk"), Icelandic tala ("to talk"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A form of creative reaction, which will be a part of the language return given by the first-grade child from the telling of the tale, will be his _reading of the tale_.

    A Study of Fairy Tales

  • I haven't got the vaguest idea why August Derleth made it the title tale of his first HPL compendium, and I've got only condescending, insulting ideas why it seems to take such central place in Lovecraft criticism since.

    Kenneth Hite's Journal

  • And the last story, the title tale, features a knight of the realm, no less, who ends up being committed to Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum , as it was known in those days.

    Patrick McGrath: Blood and Water

  • Three of these ten solidly professional stories, including the title tale, are new, the rest from original anthologies.

    Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

  • It seems curious that Canton should make a second mistake and refuse it again, but publishers were wary in those days, and even the newspaper success of the Frog story did not tempt him to venture it as the title tale of a book.

    Complete Letters of Mark Twain

  • Smurfs has three shorter stories -- the title tale, "The Flying Smurf," and "The Smurf and His Neighbors" -- while Magic Flute is a full-length graphic novel.

    The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

  • The title tale communicates the disturbance caused by the reentrance of a former acquaintance into the life of a busy writer.

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  • The title tale, "Harry and the Pirates," is a bit problematic.

    Bookgasm

  • I wonder if you had considered that the "philosophical difference" between you & RTD that's at the core of your discontent with his tale is actually an inherent cultural difference?

    TORCHWOOD: CoE...Episode 5...Spoilers!

  • Otherwise, in spirit and order of narrative, the tale is as it fell from Oti's lips.

    YAH! YAH! YAH!

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