tale

fairy tale

Simple narrative typically of folk origin dealing with supernatural beings. Fairy tales may be written or told for the amusement of children or may have a more sophisticated narrative containing supernatural or obviously improbable events, scenes, and personages and often having a whimsical, satirical, or moralistic character. The term embraces popular folktales such as “Cinderella” and “Puss in Boots,” as well as art fairy tales of later invention, such as those by Hans Christian Andersen. It is often difficult to distinguish between tales of literary and oral origin, because folktales have received literary treatment from early times, and literary tales can often be traced back to oral tradition.

Learn more about fairy tale with a free trial on Britannica.com.

or judgment tale

Typical African form of short story. Its ending is open to conjecture or is morally ambiguous, allowing the audience to comment or speculate on the correct solution to the problem posed, whether a conflict of loyalty, the need to choose a just response to a difficult situation, or the laying of blame when several parties seem equally guilty. Dilemma tales function both as instruction and entertainment and help establish social norms.

Learn more about dilemma tale with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Tale may refer to:

  • Cautionary tale, a traditional story told in folklore, to warn its hearer of a danger
  • Fairy tale, a fictional story that usually features folkloric characters (such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, witches, giants, and talking animals) and enchantments
  • Folk tale, a story passed-down within a particular population, which comprises the traditions of that culture or group.
  • Fable, a brief story, which illustrates a moral lesson and which features animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature which are anthropomorphised
  • Frame tale, whereby the main story is composed, at least in part, for the purpose of organizing a set of shorter stories.
  • Urban Legend, a modern folk tale consisting of stories often thought to be factual by those circulating them
  • Old wives' tale, a wisdom much like an urban legend, supposedly passed down by old wives to a younger generation
  • Tall tale, a story that claims to explain the reason for some natural phenomenon

Search another word or see taleon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;