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sto·ry 1

n. pl. sto·ries
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

n. pl. sto·ries
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.
References in classic literature ?
HAS there ever been a time when no stories were told?
But do you think that they had no stories? Oh, yes!
And later, when the story of Christ had come to soften men's hearts and brighten men's lives, the stories told of faith and purity and gentleness.
In the preface to "Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz" I said I would like to write some stories that were not "Oz" stories, because I thought I had written about Oz long enough; but since that volume was published I have been fairly deluged with letters from children imploring me to "write more about Dorothy," and "more about Oz," and since I write only to please the children I shall try to respect their wishes.
As for Polychrome--the Rainbow's Daughter--and stupid little Button-Bright, they seem to have brought a new element of fun into these Oz stories, and I am glad I discovered them.
"The stories in it are not half as interesting as those in the Canadian Woman, although it costs so much more.
I know lots of other stories, and I hope to tell them, some time or another; but just now my loving tyrants won't allow me.
After the wonderful success of "Ozma of Oz" it is evident that Dorothy has become a firm fixture in these Oz stories. The little ones all love Dorothy, and as one of my small friends aptly states: "It isn't a real Oz story without her." So here she is again, as sweet and gentle and innocent as ever, I hope, and the heroine of another strange adventure.
-- KEATS THE main characteristic of this volume consists in this, that all the stories composing it belong not only to the same period but have been written one after another in the order in which they appear in the book.
None of them are stories of experience in the absolute sense of the word.
I had promised myself that in this quiet, now that I had given up reviewing, and wrote little or nothing in the magazine but my stories, I should again read purely for the pleasure of it, as I had in the early days before the critical purpose had qualified it with a bitter alloy.
Of the five stories in this volume, "The Lagoon," the last in order, is the earliest in date.