Did you know?

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

tale - 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.



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] tale pronunciation in British English /teɪl/
Word Forms
  1. 2
    a spoken account of someone’s experiences, especially when they are made to seem more exciting or unpleasant than they really were
    tale of/about:

    He entertained us with tales of his adventures during the war.

    be full of tales about something:

    She was full of tales about the places she’d been to.

    a tale of woe (=a story about unpleasant things that have happened to you):

    Every teacher has their tale of woe to tell.


sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an electric skateboard

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