Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

story - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable]     story pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    an account of something that happened. Stories can be imaginary, traditional, or true

    She’s written several children’s stories.

    The book is about the discovery of DNA – it’s a marvellous story.

    story about:

    a story about a beautiful princess and a frog

    read/tell a story:

    She was reading a story to the children.

    detective/love/adventure story:

    a passionate love story with a happy ending

    1. a.
      an account of events in a newspaper report or news programme
      news story:

      And now for a recap of tonight’s main news stories.

      front-page story:

      The murder was a front-page story in the local newspaper.

    2. b.
      an account of something, for example someone’s life
      story of:

      The film is the story of their friendship.

      the story behind something:

      The book reveals the story behind this traditional dance.

    3. c.
      a spoken account of something that happened to you

      Have you heard his story about the time he met the Queen?

    4. d.
      the events in a book, film etc

      The special effects were good, but the story was boring.

    Collocates: story
    Verbs frequently used with story as the object
    ▪ concoct, invent, make up, read, recount, relate, swap, tell, write
  2. 2
    an excuse or a reason that is not true

    Do you expect me to believe that ridiculous story?

    He’s concocted an elaborate story about where he was that night.

  3. 3
    something that people are talking about that may not be true

    There are stories going around that they are having an affair.

    I heard a story that he had moved to Australia.

    The President has refused to confirm or deny the story.

  4. 4
    the American spelling of storey
  5. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    have a story to tell to know something that is interesting, mysterious or secret

    Istanbul is a city so deeply rooted in antiquity that nearly every structure has a story to tell.

    Submitted by Boris Marchenko from Russian Federation on 31/03/2017
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play