tale ( tales plural )
1 n-count; n-in-names A tale is a story, often involving magic or exciting events.
...a collection of stories, poems and folk tales...
2 n-count You can refer to an interesting, exciting, or dramatic account of a real event as a tale.
usu with supp, oft N of n
The media have been filled with tales of horror and loss resulting from Monday's earthquake.
old wives' tale
4 If you survive a dangerous or frightening experience and so are able to tell people about it afterwards, you can say that you lived to tell the tale.
live to tell the tale phrase V inflects
You lived to tell the tale this time but who knows how far you can push your luck.
5 If someone tells talesabout you, they tell other people things about you which are untrue or which you wanted to be kept secret.
tell tales phrase V inflects I hesitated, not wanting to tell tales about my colleague. →
fairy tale ( fairy tales plural ) , fairytale A fairy tale is a story for children involving magical events and imaginary creatures. n-count
She was like a princess in a fairy tale.
old wives' tale ( old wives' tales plural ) An old wives' tale is a traditional belief, especially one which is incorrect. n-count
Ann Bradley dispels the old wives' tales and gives the medical facts.
tall tale ( tall tales plural ) A tall tale is a long and complicated story that is difficult to believe because most of the events it describes seem unlikely or impossible. n-count
...the imaginative tall tales of sailors.
tell-tale , telltale
Something that is described as telltale gives away information, often about something bad that would otherwise not be noticed. adj ADJ n
Only occasionally did the telltale redness around his eyes betray the fatigue he was suffering.