English Dictionary

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tales (ˈteɪliːz Pronunciation for tales



  1. (functioning as plural) a group of persons summoned from among those present in court or from bystanders to fill vacancies on a jury panel
  2. (functioning as singular) the writ summoning such jurors

Derived Forms

ˈtalesman noun

Word Origin

C15: from Medieval Latin phrase tālēs dē circumstantibus such men from among the bystanders, from Latin tālis such

tale (teɪl Pronunciation for tale



  1. a report, narrative, or story
  2. one of a group of short stories connected by an overall narrative framework
    1. a malicious or meddlesome rumour or piece of gossip   ⇒ to bear tales against someone
    2. (in combination)   ⇒ talebearer, taleteller
  3. a fictitious or false statement
  4. See tell tales

  5. See tell a tale

  6. See tell its own tale

  7. (archaic)
    1. a number; amount
    2. computation or enumeration
  8. an obsolete word for talk

Word Origin

Old English talu list; related to Old Frisian tele talk, Old Saxon, Old Norse tala talk, number, Old High German zala number


View thesaurus entry
= story, narrative, anecdote, account, relation, novel, legend, fiction, romance, saga, short story, yarn, fable, narration, conte, spiel, urban myth, urban legend
= lie, fabrication, falsehood, fib, untruth, spiel, tall story, rigmarole, cock-and-bull story

Quotations including 'tales'

  • "And so from hour to hour we ripe and ripe,And then from hour to hour we rot and rot;And thereby hangs a tale" [William Shakespeare
  • "A tale never loses in the telling"

Example Sentences Including 'tales'

Above the tiles, the upper walls and hemispherical ceiling were painted with scenes from Georgian fairy tales.
Mark Burnell CHAMELEON (2002)
Despite the regulations some refugees had slipped westward and the tales they told made folk shudder.
Townsend, Eileen In Love and War
Like all good fairy tales that properly began `Once upon a time," the scene of the crime seemed the best place to start.
Aird, Catherine A Dead Liberty


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