Story meaning in english

Story meaning in english DEFAULT


This shows grade level based on the word's complexity.


[ stawr-ee, stohr-ee ]

/ ˈstɔr i, ˈstoʊr i /


a narrative, either true or fictitious, in prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the hearer or reader; tale.

a fictitious tale, shorter and less elaborate than a novel.

such narratives or tales as a branch of literature: song and story.

the plot or succession of incidents of a novel, poem, drama, etc.: The characterizations were good, but the story was weak.

a narration of an incident or a series of events or an example of these that is or may be narrated, as an anecdote, joke, etc.

a narration of the events in the life of a person or the existence of a thing, or such events as a subject for narration: the story of medicine; the story of his life.

a report or account of a matter; statement or allegation: The story goes that he rejected the offer.

news story.

a lie or fabrication: What he said about himself turned out to be a story.

Obsolete. history.

verb (used with object),sto·ried,sto·ry·ing.

to ornament with pictured scenes, as from history or legend.

Obsolete. to tell the history or story of.



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Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?

Origin of story


1175–1225; Middle English storie<Anglo-French estorie<Latin historiahistory



Words nearby story

stormy, stormy petrel, Stornoway, Storrs, Storting, story, story arc, storyboard, storybook, story line, storyteller

Other definitions for story (2 of 3)


[ stawr-ee, stohr-ee ]

/ ˈstɔr i, ˈstoʊr i /


a complete horizontal section of a building, having one continuous or practically continuous floor.

the set of rooms on the same floor or level of a building.

any major horizontal architectural division, as of a façade or the wall of a nave.

a layer.

Also especially British, sto·rey .

Origin of story


1350–1400; Middle English storie<Anglo-Latin historia picture decorating a building, a part of the building so decorated, hence floor, story <Latin historiahistory

Other definitions for story (3 of 3)


[ stawr-ee, stohr-ee ]

/ ˈstɔr i, ˈstoʊr i /


Joseph, 1779–1845, U.S. jurist.

William Wet·more[wet-mawr, -mohr], /ˈwɛtˌmɔr, -ˌmoʊr/, 1819–95, U.S. sculptor and poet. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Words related to story

version, fantasy, fable, biography, information, feature, fiction, book, comedy, memoir, description, myth, autobiography, anecdote, adventure, report, article, tragedy, novel, drama

How to use story in a sentence

  • Reporter Tarryn Mento will join us Wednesday on VOSD at Home to talk about her story.

    Morning Report: The Dreaded Purple Tier|Voice of San Diego|September 16, 2020|Voice of San Diego

  • The story of fluoridation reads like a postmodern fable, and the moral is clear: a scientific discovery might seem like a boon.

    Anti-Fluoriders Are The OG Anti-Vaxxers|Michael Schulson|July 27, 2016|DAILY BEAST

  • But along with the cartoon funk is an all-too-real story of police brutality embodied by a horde of evil Pigs.

    ‘Black Dynamite’ Presents Police Brutality: The Musical|Stereo Williams|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • Whatever the FBI says, the truthers will create alternative hypotheses that try to challenge the ‘official story.’

    Was Sony Hit With a Second Hack?|Shane Harris|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • In its attempt to discredit the story, the JPO inadvertently confirmed that fact.

    Pentagon Misfires in Stealth Jet Scandal|Dave Majumdar|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • And extortion makes a lot more sense before a story hits the news wire, not after.

    Phylicia Rashad and the Cult of Cosby Truthers|Stereo Williams|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • Nothing but an extreme love of truth could have hindered me from concealing this part of my story.

    Gulliver's Travels|Jonathan Swift

  • A few moments afterward he was seen dragging his own trunk ashore, while Mr. Hitchcock finished his story on the boiler deck.

    The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun;|Various

  • Obviously a tremendous question arises here as to how a story should be found in Genesis xiv.

    Solomon and Solomonic Literature|Moncure Daniel Conway

  • Through the beautiful, windy autumn days, he labored at his difficult task, the task of telling a story.

    The Homesteader|Oscar Micheaux

  • The interest of the story is now at an end; but much yet remains before the conclusion.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXIX. January, 1844. Vol. LV.|Various

British Dictionary definitions for story (1 of 2)


a narration of a chain of events told or written in prose or verse

Also called: short storya piece of fiction, briefer and usually less detailed than a novel

Also called: story linethe plot of a book, film, etc

an event that could be the subject of a narrative

a report or statement on a matter or event

the event or material for such a report

informala lie, fib, or untruth

cut a long story shortormake a long story shortto leave out details in a narration

the same old storyinformalthe familiar or regular course of events

the story goesit is commonly said or believed

verb-ries, -ryingor-ried(tr)

to decorate (a pot, wall, etc) with scenes from history or legends

Word Origin for story

C13: from Anglo-French estorie, from Latin historia; see history

British Dictionary definitions for story (2 of 2)


another spelling (esp US) of storey

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with story

In addition to the idiom beginning with story

also see:

  • cock and bull story
  • cover story
  • fish story
  • hard-luck story
  • make a long story short
  • old story
  • same old story
  • shaggy dog story
  • sob story
  • upper story

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.



sto·ry 1

1. An account or recital of an event or a series of events, either true or fictitious, as:

a. An account or report regarding the facts of an event or group of events: The witness changed her story under questioning.

b. An anecdote: came back from the trip with some good stories.

c. A lie: told us a story about the dog eating the cookies.


a. A usually fictional prose or verse narrative intended to interest or amuse the hearer or reader; a tale.

b. A short story.

3. The plot of a narrative or dramatic work.

4. A news article or broadcast.

5. Something viewed as or providing material for a literary or journalistic treatment: "He was colorful, he was charismatic, he was controversial, he was a good story"(Terry Ann Knopf).

6. The background information regarding something: What's the story on these unpaid bills?

7. Romantic legend or tradition: a hero known to us in story.

tr.v.sto·ried, sto·ry·ing, sto·ries

1. To decorate with scenes representing historical or legendary events.

2. Archaic To tell as a story.

[Middle English storie, from Old French estorie, estoire, from Latin historia; see history.]

sto·ry 2


1. A complete horizontal division of a building, constituting the area between two adjacent floors.

2. The set of rooms on the same floor of a building.

[Middle English storie, story, from Medieval Latin historia, picture, story (probably from painted windows or sculpture on the front of buildings), from Latin, history; see history.]

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




  1. All circumstances in a tale answer one another like notes in music —Robert Louis Stevenson
  2. Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so slightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners —Virginia Woolf
  3. A good story compels you like sexual hunger but the pace is more leisurely —Robert Hass
  4. A good story is like a bitter pill with the sugar coating inside of it —O. Henry
  5. A poor story is a good deal like a grist, the oftener it is told, the less there is of it —Josh Billings

    In Billings’ dialect this reads: “The oftner it iz told, the less thare iz ov it.”

  6. Stories are like snapshots … pictures snatched out of time with clean, hard edges —James Crumley
  7. Stories, like whiskey, must be allowed to mature in the cask —Sean O’Faolain, Atlantic Monthly, December 1956
  8. Stories that meandered along like lazy streams —George Garrett
  9. A storyteller is like a ship’s captain. He takes the passengers places where they might laugh or cry, but they always feel safe —Michael Parent, storyteller, New York Times, May 19, 1986
  10. A story with a moral appended is like the bill of a mosquito. It bores you, and then injects a stinging drop to irritate your conscience —O. Henry
  11. A tale without love is like beef without mustard —Anatole France


Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sours: //
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  2. Fame acoustic electric guitar
  3. Oakley xxl sunglasses
  4. Youtube crackling fire
  5. Publix grocery pickup

story - Meaning in English

Word Forms / Inflections

stories(noun plural)
storied(verb past tense)
storying(verb present participle)
stories(verb present tense)

Definitions and Meaning of story in English


  1. a structure consisting of a room or set of rooms at a single position along a vertical scale
    Synonyms : floor, level, storeyExample
    - what level is the office on?
  2. a piece of fiction that narrates a chain of related events
    - he writes stories for the magazines
  3. a record or narrative description of past events
    Synonyms : account, chronicle, historyExamples
    - a history of France
    - he gave an inaccurate account of the plot to kill the president
    - the story of exposure to lead
  4. a short account of the news
    Synonyms : account, news report, report, write upExamples
    - the account of his speech that was given on the evening news made the governor furious
    - the report of his speech
    - the story was on the 11 o'clock news
  5. a trivial lie
    Synonyms : fib, tale, taradiddle, tarradiddleExamples
    - he told a fib about eating his spinach
    - how can I stop my child from telling stories?
  6. a message that tells the particulars of an act or occurrence or course of events; presented in writing or drama or cinema or as a radio or television program
    Synonyms : narration, narrative, taleExamples
    - Disney's stories entertain adults as well as children
    - his narrative was interesting

Synonyms of story

floor, level, storey, account, chronicle, history, news report, report, write up, fib, tale, taradiddle, tarradiddle, narration, narrative

More matches for story



The Story of Two Pots English Moral Story -- Animated Moral Storie - Fairy tales - English Stories

Main definitions of story in English

: story1story2


See synonyms for story

Translate story into Spanish

nounplural noun stories

  • 1An account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment.

    ‘an adventure story’

    • ‘I'm going to tell you a story’
    • ‘There are romance stories, historical stories and adventures.’
    • ‘I write adventure stories, thrillers, so most of my heroes spend their time running after the bad guys.’
    • ‘His most recent work shows that a novel of philosophical analysis can be a real story.’
    • ‘The trusty Dr Watson narrates the stories of his adventures with the sleuth of Baker Street.’
    • ‘Henry James is not a name that springs to mind when we think of adventure stories, prose epics or historical fiction.’
    • ‘As the story unfolds, the real character of Harry comes out into full view.’
    • ‘It can't decide whether it is a detective story, a love story or a historical epic.’
    • ‘Many SF and fantasy adventure stories are now written by female authors.’
    • ‘Charlotte loved stories of romance and adventure, there had been so little romance or adventure in her life.’
    • ‘I loved reading and filled my free time with Bible stories and adventure novels for young boys.’
    • ‘These days children do not have grandparents telling them folklore and stories from epics.’
    • ‘None of the stories were real, but one story in particular had an effect on Joanna.’
    • ‘It is a story packed with plotting, political intrigue and bloody warfare.’
    • ‘I cry every time I read a sad love story.’
    • ‘The first film is a serious, atmospheric ghost story.’
    • ‘Story telling and shadows have been around since the time of the cave people, when their fires flickered as they told stories in to the night.’
    • ‘She didn't just dutifully put pen to paper, she told stories, painted pictures and opened a window into the frustrations and rare joys of her own life.’
    • ‘We sat around the table and told stories until late into the night.’
    • ‘That's why people like to be told stories, so they can forget about their own lives and enter another world.’
    • ‘Both are finely observed and elegantly told stories of childhood and family life.’
    1. 1.1A plot or story line.

      ‘the novel has a good story’

      • ‘As the plot unfolds, the story begins to collapse under the weight of its unanswered questions.’
      • ‘Shock revelations follow as the story unravels, the plot thickens and the audience grows more intrigued.’
      • ‘But I think we always return because we are hungry for the same story, the same plot.’
      • ‘They both have entirely messy stories, rife with plot holes and improbabilities.’
      • ‘One option we talked about was framing the story itself in flashback with a narrator.’
      • ‘The evidence becomes incontrovertible, leading the story to its logical denouement.’
      • ‘In its own way, the film works almost like a sequel to the comic, in that there are several new subplots and stories going on that weren't in the original.’
      • ‘I am supposed to move the story along and provide comic relief or cynicism wherever I can.’
      • ‘There are several coincidences in the story at present that hold it together flimsily.’
      • ‘The audience see it through Elaine's eyes and gradually the story unfolds and the pieces start to fall into place.’
      • ‘If you give people a compelling reason to come back every week for more pieces of a story, you will create rabid fans.’
    2. 1.2A report of an item of news in a newspaper, magazine, or news broadcast.

      ‘stories in the local papers’

      • ‘The story that news papers would of course like to run is imminent collapse and absolute disaster.’
      • ‘Obviously we will be bringing you many other big news stories in your favourite newspaper over the coming 12 months.’
      • ‘We only hope they will at least provide more careful, balanced statements during live broadcasts or in newspaper stories.’
      • ‘Like any young sports fan in America at that time, he read newspapers and magazine stories about his heroes.’
      • ‘When he returned the local newspaper had a front-page story which made him cringe.’
      • ‘Fiction sometimes presents a much more vivid perspective on events than we can ever glean from newspaper stories or television reports.’
      • ‘We won't have to wait for front page stories in the newspaper about a bad product.’
      • ‘This picture is taken from the local Spanish newspaper, where the traffic story is front page news.’
      • ‘The policy shift has been the subject of numerous front-page news stories and op-eds.’
      • ‘If you want to dig deeper, I reckon the way news media report drugs stories is but one example of a problem related to how they define news.’
      • ‘Every report in an Irish newspaper initially reported similar stories, he said.’
      • ‘Two recent front page stories in this newspaper represent the poles of opinion on crime and punishment.’
      • ‘He has written more than 2,000 news and feature stories for print and broadcast media.’
      • ‘He himself didn't find out about his dad's heroism until years later, when he read the story in a newspaper article.’
      • ‘As well as highlighting these positive stories, regional newspapers also generate good news by campaigning for local causes.’
      • ‘Almost all lead stories in both major newspapers and network television news are about men's sports.’
      • ‘That evening's television news and the next day's newspapers were full of stories about the lottery winner who had taken the cash.’
      • ‘In newspapers across America, the story was presented as a humorous tale of incredible stupidity.’
      • ‘I was disappointed, however, by the sensationalist way the story was presented.’
      • ‘One can read multiple news stories from different sources on the same subject.’
    3. 1.3A piece of gossip; a rumor.

      ‘there have been lots of stories going around, as you can imagine’

      • ‘For centuries, if not longer, there have been rumours and stories about a giant bird living in the remote areas of Australia.’
      • ‘In his letters, he gossips, tells wicked stories and speaks the unguarded truth.’
      • ‘He fed his in-crowd with stories, gossip, tips and steers.’
      • ‘There are stories and rumours of people who have already gone.’
      • ‘Rumours and stories about the site's future use have done the rounds for the past few years.’
      • ‘Post quiz we headed off to the bar to catch up on gossip, swap stories and generally bond a bit.’
      • ‘Along the way there were stories and rumours that the two did not get on but Serena is adamant that the duo are not involved in a bitter feud.’
      • ‘All you've heard are stories pieced together, some blown out of all proportion over time.’
      • ‘You haven't seen each other in a while, you've got time to kill and you talk about how it's going, share gossip and stories from your club.’
      • ‘There the matter ended and six months passed without any further published stories or rumours.’
      • ‘I could tell you a lot of stories about some of my pupil's mammies and daddies and what they got up to over the years, but I'm not going to.’
      • ‘While on Pictou Island, I heard stories about a lot of wasteful helicoptering by government.’
      • ‘Outside the official investigation, a different story began to circulate.’
    4. 1.4 informal A false statement or explanation; a lie.
      • ‘Ellie never told stories—she had always believed in the truth’

      lie, fib, falsehood, untruth, fabrication, fiction, piece of fiction

      View synonyms
  • 2An account of past events in someone's life or in the evolution of something.

    ‘the story of modern farming’

    • ‘the film is based on a true story’
    • ‘Like me, it is a bit wrinkled and frayed at the edges but it recalls a moment of history in the life story of Britain's railway industry.’
    • ‘His life story is one of the most extraordinary tales in the history of the game.’
    • ‘A reformed heroin addict turned property developer is hoping to film part of his life story in Swindon.’
    • ‘For example, the narrator uses her life story as an example of how any woman can leave an abusive relationship.’
    • ‘I hope to develop a dramatic feature-length script about his life story as well.’
    • ‘If you want to understand the man and everything about him, then all of that is part of his life story.’
    • ‘Do you think one day they will turn my life story into a film?’
    • ‘Characters do tend to drop by the wayside as in a life story, and it doesn't contain a novel's narrative.’
    • ‘His Vietnam service apart, his life story was insufficiently inspirational to excite the electorate.’
    • ‘What struck Jarecki while interviewing David were the gaps in his life story.’
    • ‘They had been expecting him to make an announcement about his new film, which will centre on his life story.’
    • ‘His life story gives his words authenticity, whether he is talking about social exclusion or global conflict.’
    • ‘So we sat down next to some guy who, in very slurred speech, started to tell us his life story.’
    • ‘Yesterday morning some stranger trapped me and gave me his life story for over an hour.’
    • ‘He had just published a book of his life story, and it had become a best seller.’
    • ‘Now, the fascinating story of the woman behind the pictures has begun to emerge.’
    • ‘People were elected to speak with the escapees and communicate to the media their stories and personal circumstances.’
    • ‘The story of long term care in the United States holds lessons for the United Kingdom.’
    • ‘How he arrived at that view is the story of his life and work.’
    • ‘Where they got the law from, and how they did it, is the whole story of the emergence of substantive common law.’
    1. 2.1A particular person's representation of the facts of a matter, especially as given in self-defense.

      ‘during police interviews, Harper changed his story’

      • ‘At best, it will make some detainees feel better by letting them tell their side of the story.’
      • ‘Apart from issuing a few brief statements, the failed viceroy has yet to face the media to tell his side of the story.’
      • ‘Analysts and investors are just not listening to our side of the story.’
      • ‘Then Bruce decided to go about and tell everyone, so I will present my side of the story.’
      • ‘The police chief's decision to tell his side of the story proved controversial from the start.’
      • ‘All the women tell the same story of poverty and the need to provide for their families.’
      • ‘Cassie was glad that she had finally told her side of the story but she knew that there was still more to come.’
      • ‘Now in the interests of balance, something we're very keen on here, here's her side of the story.’
      • ‘Most of them brushed me off, but a few of them actually stopped and listened to my side of the story.’
      • ‘They do not always have access to the media, and are not necessarily able to tell their side of the story to the public.’
      • ‘I want to hear your side of the story now, I want to know what you think about all this.’
      • ‘Adela is put in the witness box and she is asked to recount her side of the story.’
      • ‘Anyway, I have decided to take your side of the story into consideration.’
      • ‘I didn't try and listen or believe your side of the story even when you tried to tell me.’
      • ‘Up until today I have not had the opportunity once again to defend myself, to give my side of the story.’
      • ‘Ask any tube driver from any line and they will tell the same story.’
      • ‘When he decided to give us an interview, all other criminals wanted to give their side of the story.’
      • ‘Bryan was going to tell her his side of the story whether she wanted to hear it or not.’
      • ‘Moreover Sherwood had told O'Brien to tell the same story as that originally told by Sherwood.’
      • ‘It's because of the Observer article that James was able to tell his own story to a local newspaper.’

      testimony, statement, report, account, version, description, representation

      View synonyms
    2. 2.2in singularA situation viewed in terms of the information known about it or its similarity to another.

      ‘having such information is useful, but it is not the whole story’

      • ‘many children with leukemia now survive—twenty years ago it was a very different story’
      • ‘If it had happened at night then the story might have been different.’
      • ‘But it was a different story when an easier chance fell for him a minute later.’
      • ‘It is a story that has worrying similarities with the experiences of farmers elsewhere.’
      • ‘The other half of the story, its complementary half, is the story about information.’
      • ‘When we turn to the artisans and the peasantry of France, a different story emerges.’
      • ‘However, the company denied any money had been lost and, within days, a different story emerged.’
      • ‘When a court official was dispatched by the judge to check the truth a different story emerged.’
      • ‘It might have been a different story had they not spurned two gilt-edged chances in the first five minutes.’
      • ‘But it could have been a different story had the home side taken advantage of the chances which fell their way.’
      • ‘However, it is a different story altogether when conflict occurs in a real life situation.’
      • ‘It might have been a different story if I had ventured to a bar in town by myself, but who knows.’
      • ‘They kicked a lot of wides in the first half and if they had put them on the board it might have been a different story.’
      • ‘Words and a picture don't always tell the whole story.’
      • ‘The look on the faces of those young participants, even those who don't win, tells the whole story.’
      • ‘He said that he met the warrant officer outside the police station and told him the whole story.’
      • ‘When they win it's a different story altogether; they're everywhere, like a bad rash.’
      • ‘The whole story is however just another Leftist lie.’
      • ‘If you only look at what the media says about attacks and dog bites, then you're not getting the whole story.’
      • ‘The Students' Council made two good decisions on Sunday, but that isn't the whole story.’
      • ‘The front doors of almost every hospital department tell the same story.’





    but that's another story
    • Used after raising a matter to indicate that one does not want to expand on it for now.

      • ‘Of course I was useless with women, but that's another story.’
      • ‘Then I got a job and bought a house, and then I went to work in Washington DC... but that's another story.’
      • ‘And I must say I was pretty impressed with his Spanish, but that's another story.’
      • ‘I actually remember what I was doing the day he died, but that's another story.’
      • ‘His well-meaning wife also once performed an exorcism in my kitchen, but that's another story.’
      • ‘I know the council planners are very busy worrying about chimney stacks on new houses that don't actually need them, but that's another story.’
      • ‘There was also a papaya tree on the balcony that eventually crashed, pot and all into the back lane below, but that's another story.’
      • ‘I also hate people who don't even smile or thank you when you hold the door open for them out of courtesy, but that's another story.’
      • ‘There's an outside chance my son was conceived there, but that's another story.’
      • ‘Then he started on the subliminal advertising, but that's another story altogether.’
    it's a long story
    • Used to indicate that, for now, one does not want to talk about something that is too involved or painful.

      • ‘It's (the tail end of) Purim, when it's traditional to eat triangular shaped pastries, though frankly it's a long story that I can't go into now.’
      • ‘‘I - it's a long story,’ she said, looking away and twisting her fingers painfully.’
      • ‘But it's a long story, and I don't have the energy right now.’
      • ‘Lois glanced away from me, saying ‘Look, Kendra it's a long story.’’
      • ‘Yeah, it's a long story, I'll tell you some other time.’
      • ‘Look it's a long story and I don't want to talk about it okay!’
      • ‘Never mind, it's a long story - I just owe her something from the past.’
      • ‘I really need you to come home - it's a long story and I'm really, really sorry.’
      • ‘Yeah, I don't like sunny weather, it makes me depressed, it's a long story so I'll end it there.’
      • ‘I would do a reading for you, but I just don't do reading for strangers; it's a long story.’
    the same old story
    • Used to indicate that a particular bad situation is tediously familiar.

      ‘are we not faced with the same old story of a badly managed project?’

      • ‘We are capable of beating most sides in this league, yet it's been the same old story in the last two or three matches as silly goals have cost us badly.’
      • ‘But it's the same old story - the keeper is always singled out for the blame.’
      • ‘But it was the same old story: A father and son drifting apart.’
      • ‘Basically it the same old story of idiots with muscles trying to act important instead of just doing their job.’
      • ‘But it's always the same old story: New coach comes in, wows everyone into believing the Irish are back, but then it all goes south.’
      • ‘This car is very good, and I don't think my driving has been that bad, but it's the same old story: I've been in the wrong place at the wrong time.’
      • ‘It's the same old story: no shortage of applicants, just a shortage of high - quality applicants.’
      • ‘And on the show went last Sunday, but it was the same old story for Sligo.’
      • ‘Sad to say, we'll likely have the same old story for at least another decade.’
      • ‘I have also sat on a New York City grand jury and heard over one hundred narcotics cases, and it is the same old story from everyone.’
    the story goes
    • It is said or rumored.

      ‘ the story goes that he's fallen out with his friends’

      • ‘Pirates fleeing the British navy, as the story goes, found themselves on St Lucia's east coast off of Marquis Bay.’
      • ‘This, the story goes, secured a large crowd, a conviction for indecency and copious ticket-shifting headlines.’
      • ‘This fearsome serpent, so the story goes, had a poisoned tongue, breathed fire and smoke, and had teeth as large as the prongs of a pitchfork.’
      • ‘Over time, the story goes, the population inside the wall grew and the city became overcrowded.’
      • ‘A few days later, so the story goes, a large growth resembling the stump of an animal's horn sprang from the guilty man's forehead.’
      • ‘We called it Nelson because it only had one eye, the other one having been ripped out by a hungry seagull - or so the story goes.’
      • ‘People who hold traditional values, so the story goes, are under siege.’
      • ‘Families today are sufficiently comfortably off to be unfazed by a gift of £250 - or so the story goes.’
      • ‘As the story goes, one customer ordered the syrup and the serving assistant accidentally mixed it with carbonated water.’
      • ‘As the story goes, she was a formidable woman who did not take to fools kindly.’
    the story of one's life
    • Used as a resigned acknowledgment that one has experienced a particular misfortune too often.

      • ‘I'm just misunderstood—that's the story of my life’
      • ‘“It's the story of my life,” my mother would say when she returned home from a sale empty-handed’
      • ‘But that's the story of my life - missed opportunities and bad timing.’
      • ‘I was running a little late, but then that's the story of my life.’
      • ‘He didn't want to, and that's the story of my life.’
      • ‘I guess it's the story of my life, I'm always letting down people.’
    to make a long story short
    • Used to end an account of events quickly.

      ‘to make a long story short, I married Stephen’

      • ‘I was doing research on how traumatic experiences impact memory functioning and to make a long story short, alien abductions was a type of traumatic experience people were reporting.’
      • ‘I became independent and to make a long story short, here I am now, living in an apartment, financially stable, and not addicted to drugs.’
      • ‘Anyway, to make a long story short, I met a guy - a fellow chorus boy - and we had a fling.’
      • ‘Well, to make a long story short, I impressed this group of young kids so much that they begged me to be on their team.’
      • ‘That's when we went public, and to make a long story short, it didn't work out.’
      • ‘Well, to make a long story short, Warren came to the play bearing a bouquet of roses for the leading lady, and the rest is history.’
      • ‘It was total drama, and to make a long story short, for one of the few times in my life, I thought I was in love.’
      • ‘So to make a long story short, I am finally graduating and I would never come back to this school to do my masters.’
      • ‘Anyway to cut a long story short, we complained as did other guests to the arrogant hotelier, who did, after being berated, agree to refund our money.’
      • ‘Having landed in the New World in 1519, he stumbled across the Aztec xocoatl drink and, to cut a long story short, was responsible for spreading its popularity across the globe.’


Middle English (denoting a historical account or representation): shortening of Anglo-Norman French estorie, from Latin historia (see history).

Main definitions of story in English

: story1story2


See synonyms for story

Translate story into Spanish

nounplural noun stories, plural noun storeys


North American
  • A part of a building comprising all the rooms that are on the same level.

    in combination‘a three-story building’

    • ‘The apartments will be arranged in courtyards with the highest building rising to five storeys, including the penthouse level.’
    • ‘A reinforced concrete structure, with doors and windows in steel, the building is eleven storeys, plus a roof terrace and basement.’
    • ‘Towards the north end, the building rises to two storeys, and the roof of the colonnade forms an external gallery.’
    • ‘Steel girders have been used in its construction, which could allow for building of a second storey or mezzanine.’
    • ‘The building, four storeys high and designed to a taut geometry, is an abstract composition of concrete, stainless steel and glass.’
    • ‘Think of a jet faster than the Concorde, or a building taller than 120 storeys.’
    • ‘Both buildings are three storeys with retail use at ground floor level and the upper floors in use as offices and storage.’
    • ‘Player, administration and spectator facilities are arranged on three levels underneath the grandstand, with changing areas on the lowest storey at pitch level.’
    • ‘The whole building will be raised half a storey above the ground to comply with existing levels.’
    • ‘The new facility, which provides accommodation for 102 children in a two and a half storey building, is on a small site on Glenmorris Street.’
    • ‘Inside the glass box are a large open dining room and living room, both two stories high.’
    • ‘The 10,000 sq. ft. building has three storeys over a basement and also includes a car park with access from Tobergal Lane.’
    • ‘The original building was two storeys with the upper floor being removed in 1866.’
    • ‘Less than one minute later, she was in Ms Kiss's office, on the second floor of the three storey building.’
    • ‘She said work on the top floor of the three storey building began in January and is expected to be finished by the end of this month.’
    • ‘Some went as high as five stories, the top floor usually containing servants' rooms.’
    • ‘Its walls stand five-foot thick, the building is three storeys high with small castellated towers sticking out at the tops of each corner of the building.’
    • ‘The apartment blocks will range in size up to a maximum of four storeys above courtyard level, and the first phase of units will be ready for occupation within a year.’
    • ‘Arches in three planes provide long spans in the prayer hall and carry the upper three storeys of the mosque.’
    • ‘The three storey building comprises a ground floor retail unit and residential accommodation overhead.’





Late Middle English shortening of Latin historia ‘history, story’, a special use in Anglo-Latin, perhaps originally denoting a tier of painted windows or sculptures on the front of a building (representing a historical subject).


English in story meaning


  • a description of events and people that the writer or speaker has invented in order to entertain people
    • a tragic love story
    • adventure/detective stories
    • a bedtime story
    • Shall I tell you a story?
    • He read the children a story.
    • She writes poems and stories for children.
    • story about somebody/somethinga story about time travel
    • story of somebody/somethingThe book tells the story of a man who leads a double life.
    • in the storyWhat are the key events in the story?
    Collocations LiteratureLiteratureBeing a writer
    • write/​publish literature/​poetry/​fiction/​a book/​a story/​a poem/​a novel/​a review/​an autobiography
    • become a writer/​novelist/​playwright
    • find/​have a publisher/​an agent
    • have a new book out
    • edit/​revise/​proofread a book/​text/​manuscript
    • dedicate a book/​poem to…
    Plot, character and atmosphere
    • construct/​create/​weave/​weave something into a complex narrative
    • advance/​drive the plot
    • introduce/​present the protagonist/​a character
    • describe/​depict/​portray a character (as…)/(somebody as) a hero/​villain
    • create an exciting/​a tense atmosphere
    • build/​heighten the suspense/​tension
    • evoke/​capture the pathos of the situation
    • convey emotion/​an idea/​an impression/​a sense of…
    • engage the reader
    • seize/​capture/​grip the (reader’s) imagination
    • arouse/​elicit emotion/​sympathy (in the reader)
    • lack imagination/​emotion/​structure/​rhythm
    Language, style and imagery
    • use/​employ language/​imagery/​humour/(US English) humor/​an image/​a symbol/​a metaphor/​a device
    • use/​adopt/​develop a style/​technique
    • be rich in/​be full of symbolism
    • evoke images of…/a sense of…/a feeling of…
    • create/​achieve an effect
    • maintain/​lighten the tone
    • introduce/​develop an idea/​a theme
    • inspire a novel/​a poet/​somebody’s work/​somebody’s imagination
    Reading and criticism
    • read an author/​somebody’s work/​fiction/​poetry/​a text/​a poem/​a novel/​a chapter/​a passage
    • review a book/​a novel/​somebody’s work
    • give something/​get/​have/​receive a good/​bad review
    • be hailed (as)/be recognized as a masterpiece
    • quote a(n) phrase/​line/​stanza/​passage/​author
    • provoke/​spark discussion/​criticism
    • study/​interpret/​understand a text/​passage
    • translate somebody’s work/​a text/​a passage/​a novel/​a poem
    Homophones storey | storystorey story
    • storey noun
      • There are splendid views from the tenth storey.
    • story noun
      • It's not real—it's just a story.
    see alsodetective story,fairy story,ghost story,horror story(1),short story
    Extra Examples
    • I always read the children a bedtime story.
    • a collection of stories by modern writers
    • The story is set in India in the 1930s.
    • The story opens with a man hiding from the police under a woman's skirt.
    • The motives of the hero become clearer as the story unfolds.
    • My dad sometimes read me a story at bedtime.
    • The book contains stories from all over the world.
    • Who was the story written by?
    • The play tells the story of a young woman called Rosa.
    • The simple moral of the story is that dreams will come true if you work hard.
    • The story ended tragically.
    Topics Literature and writinga1
    Oxford Collocations Dictionaryadjective… of storiesverb + story
    • hear
    • read (somebody)
    • write
    story + verb
    • circulate
    • go around
    • go round
    story + nounpreposition
    • according to a/​the story
    • story about
    • story of
    • a fragment of a/​the story
    • a part of a/​the story
    • the rest of the story
    See full entry
  • (also storyline)

    the series of events in a book, film, play, etc.synonymplot
    • Her novels always have the same basic story.
    • The screenplay sticks to the original story.
    • The character's central story arc involves a difficult choice between love and duty.
    Extra Examples
    • The film lacks a coherent story.
    • The film is the rags-to-riches story of a country girl who becomes a famous singer.
    • The film tells the improbable story of a monkey that becomes a politician.
  • an account of past events or of how something has developed
    • The film is based on a true story.
    • to recount/relate a story
    • story of something/somebodyHe told us the story of his life.
    • the story of the Beatles
    • the story of the building of the bridge
    • story behind something/somebodyEvery piece of art has an interesting story behind it.
    Extra Examples
    • the epic story of a family's escape from war
    • the familiar story of a star who turns to drink and drugs
    • The story of jazz is the story of modern America.
    • The real story is much more interesting than the film version.
    • There are different versions of her story.
    Oxford Collocations Dictionaryadjective… of storiesverb + story
    • hear
    • read (somebody)
    • write
    story + verb
    • circulate
    • go around
    • go round
    story + nounpreposition
    • according to a/​the story
    • story about
    • story of
    • a fragment of a/​the story
    • a part of a/​the story
    • the rest of the story
    See full entry
  • an account, often spoken, of what happened to somebody or of how something happened
    • The police didn't believe her story.
    • I suspected he hadn't told us the whole story.
    • It was many years before the full story was made public.
    • The students were asked to share their stories.
    • story about something/somebodyWe must stick to our story about the accident.
    • We all hear stories about young people leaving the countryside.
    • story of something/somebodyIt's a story of courage.
    • I can't decide until I've heard both sides of the story.
    • Many years later I returned to Africa but that's another story(= I am not going to talk about it now).
    Synonyms reportreportThese are all words for a written or spoken account of events.
    • reporta written or spoken account of an event, especially one that is published or broadcast:
      • Are these newspaper reports true?
    • storyan account, often spoken, of what happened to somebody or of how something happened; a report of events in a newspaper, magazine or news broadcast:
      • It was many years before the full story was made public.
      • the front-page story
    • accounta written or spoken description of something that has happened:
      • She gave the police a full account of the incident.
    report or account?A report is always of recent events, especially news. An account may be of recent or past events.
    • versiona description of an event from the point of view of a particular person or group of people:
      • She gave us her version of what had happened that day.
    • a report/​story about something
    • a brief/​short report/​story/​account
    • a full report/​story/​account/​version
    • a news report/​story
    • to give a(n) report/​account/​version
    see alsocock and bull story,cover story(2),hard-luck story,horror story(2),life story,shaggy-dog story,sob story,success story,tall story
    Extra Examples
    • ‘How come you've only got one shoe on?’ ‘It's a long story.’
    • A story was going around that the factory was in line for closure.
    • According to Rachel's version of the story, they threw the key in the river.
    • At first he denied everything, but then he changed his story and said it was an accident.
    • She told the police a false story about being attacked.
    • Stories abound of vandalism and looting.
    • There is one popular story in the town of a man-eating cat that lives in the forest.
    • We had difficulty in piecing together the fragments of her story.
    • We swapped stories about our worst teachers.
    • lurid stories of politicians' sexual adventures
    • scare stories about the harmful effects of the vaccination
    • the story of his arrest
    • He's been spreading malicious stories about you.
    • His life was a sorry story of betrayal and rejection.
    • The moral of this story is that you should never take things for granted.
    • The official story was that the singer had broken his arm falling in the shower.
    • The teacher punished me without listening to my side of the story.
    • This story illustrates the dangers of living on credit.
    • What's the story on the trial?
    • All of them had an interesting story to tell.
    • Answers can take any form from personal stories to poems.
    Oxford Collocations Dictionaryadjective… of storiesverb + story
    • hear
    • read (somebody)
    • write
    story + verb
    • circulate
    • go around
    • go round
    story + nounpreposition
    • according to a/​the story
    • story about
    • story of
    • a fragment of a/​the story
    • a part of a/​the story
    • the rest of the story
    See full entry
  • a report in a newspaper, magazine or news broadcast
    • a front-page story
    • Now for a summary of tonight's main news stories.
    • Let's check the top stories right now.
    • the two biggest stories of the day
    • He was covering the story for the ‘Glasgow Herald’.
    see alsocover story(1),lead story
    Extra Examples
    • We'll have more on this breaking story as developments come in to us.
    • The story broke in January.
    • The New York Times broke the story and others picked it up.
    • We will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest developments.
    • The magazine chose the peace process as its cover story.
    • The magazine gives the inside story of life in a rock band.
    • The biggest story of the day was the signing of the peace agreement.
    • National Geographic ran a feature story on dinosaurs.
    • More than one correspondent filed a story about the incident.
    • He's covering the story in Gaza for CNN.
    • Full story on page 3.
    • Every newspaper carried the story.
    • And now back to our top story tonight…
    • This interview may be the biggest story of his career.
    • No newspaper would publish the story.
    • Le Monde ran the story on the front page.
    Topics TV, radio and newsb1
    Oxford Collocations Dictionaryadjectiveverb + storystory + verbprepositionSee full entry
  • (informal)something that somebody says which is not true
    • She knew the child had been telling stories again.
  • (US English)

    (British Englishstorey)

    a level of a building; a floor
  • Word OriginMiddle English (denoting a historical account or representation): shortening of Anglo-Norman French estorie, from Latin historia from Greek historia ‘finding out, narrative, history’, from histōr ‘learned, wise man’, from an Indo-European root shared by wit ‘have knowledge’.

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