From King Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Literature, Folklore
taletale /teɪl/ ●●● W3 noun [countable] 1 ALSTORYa story about exciting imaginary eventstale 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)see thesaurus at story2 STORYa description of interesting or exciting things that happened to someone, often one which is not completely true about every detailtale of/about tales of her life in post-war Berlintale of/about how He was in the middle of telling me a long tale about how he once met Bob Dylan.3 tell tales4 tale of woe fairy tale, → old wives’ tale at old(24)COLLOCATIONSMeanings 1 & 2ADJECTIVES/NOUN + tale a fairy taleIt looked like a castle in a fairy tale.a folk tale (=a traditional story)a book of Scottish folk talesa cautionary tale (=one that is told to warn someone about the dangers of something)This cautionary tale illustrates the dangers of looking for quick profits.a tall tale (=one that is difficult to believe and unlikely to be true)She enjoyed making up tall tales to tell the children.verbstell a taleHe liked telling tales of his adventures in the wilderness.
Examples from the Corpus
tale'Treasure Island' - a tale of pirates and adventureDuring breaks, the group tells presentation disaster tales.Hans Christian Andersen's fairy talesBut her unbalanced monologues feel a bit artificial, her present tragedy less gripping than her tale of the past.Her story received enormous media coverage, perhaps because many people were fascinated with this incredible tale of political transformations.But as James' tale develops, it assumes complexity.She told us many tales about when our father was a child.Aline's insight underlined my conviction on holiday that this was one tale not for retelling.In other words, the critical key to James's tales is provided by the tales themselves.All the same, signalmen can be a fund of unexpected tales and it is always interesting to hear their stories.cautionary taleAs a cautionary tale this book works very well.Tootle seems to be essentially a cautionary tale, warning the child to stay on the narrow road of virtue.It is a cautionary tale told with sad humour on the border between innocence and togetherness.That is why she offers a cautionary tale about the parent traps facing all women.I suspect it was a cautionary tale.Other revelations serve as cautionary tales about the importance of subordinating military officials to civilian authority.Thank you for your cautionary tale Richard.telling ... taleYou are always telling me tales of him rebuking you.He was standing with three friends and telling a tale in which he'd conned some adversary into covering a dubious investment.In telling his tale of the 30s Brendon paints a vivid and vigorous canvas.All these are antisemitic texts, telling a tale of conspiracy only slightly more sophisticated than the Protocols.Of course, Albee is quite accustomed to telling tales about vicious people stuck in broken relationships.I expect he was telling a tale, but even this made him a very disagreeable character.
Origin tale Old English talu