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parable

[par-uh-buh l] /ˈpær ə bəl/
noun
1.
a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson.
2.
a statement or comment that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison, analogy, or the like.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English parabil < Late Latin parabola comparison, parable, word < Greek parabolḗ comparison, equivalent to para- para-1 + bolḗ a throwing
Related forms
parabolist
[puh-rab-uh-list] /pəˈræb ə lɪst/ (Show IPA),
noun
Synonyms
1. allegory, homily, apologue.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for parable
  • The first he illustrates with a true story, which might be called the parable of the pheasant.
  • He does not come right out and say so, but the story stands as a parable to be pondered by sociological historians.
  • His story became a parable for the fickleness of art and life.
  • It became both parable and laughing stock.
  • This parable is, of course, a story about a researcher and her interactions with academic-journal publishers.
  • This isn't just a fairy tale, but a coming-of-age story that is a parable about power and abuse of it.
  • This parable of waste grows only darker.
  • As in the parable of the little red hen who baked the bread all by herself, the unequal division of labor is fundamentally unfair.
  • However he came to his ordeal, his life— particularly the last period— was a bitter parable of a bitter time.
  • The parable may be understood thus.
British Dictionary definitions for parable

parable

/ˈpærəbəl/
noun
1.
a short story that uses familiar events to illustrate a religious or ethical point related adjectives parabolic parabolical
2.
any of the stories of this kind told by Jesus Christ
Derived Forms
parabolist (pəˈræbəlɪst) noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French parabole, from Latin parabola comparison, from Greek parabolē analogy, from paraballein to throw alongside, from para-1 + ballein to throw
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
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Word Origin and History for parable
parable
early 14c., "saying or story in which something is expressed in terms of something else," from O.Fr. parable, from L. parabola "comparison," from Gk. parabole "a comparison, parable," lit. "a throwing beside," from para- "alongside" + bole "a throwing, casting, beam, ray," related to ballein "to throw." Replaced O.E. bispell. In V.L. parabola took on the meaning "word," hence It. parlare, Fr. parler "to speak."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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parable in the Bible

(Gr. parabole), a placing beside; a comparison; equivalent to the Heb. mashal, a similitude. In the Old Testament this is used to denote (1) a proverb (1 Sam. 10:12; 24:13; 2 Chr. 7:20), (2) a prophetic utterance (Num. 23:7; Ezek. 20:49), (3) an enigmatic saying (Ps. 78:2; Prov. 1:6). In the New Testament, (1) a proverb (Mark 7:17; Luke 4:23), (2) a typical emblem (Heb. 9:9; 11:19), (3) a similitude or allegory (Matt. 15:15; 24:32; Mark 3:23; Luke 5:36; 14:7); (4) ordinarily, in a more restricted sense, a comparison of earthly with heavenly things, "an earthly story with a heavenly meaning," as in the parables of our Lord. Instruction by parables has been in use from the earliest times. A large portion of our Lord's public teaching consisted of parables. He himself explains his reasons for this in his answer to the inquiry of the disciples, "Why speakest thou to them in parables?" (Matt. 13:13-15; Mark 4:11, 12; Luke 8:9, 10). He followed in so doing the rule of the divine procedures, as recorded in Matt. 13:13. The parables uttered by our Lord are all recorded in the synoptical (i.e., the first three) Gospels. The fourth Gospel contains no parable properly so called, although the illustration of the good shepherd (John 10:1-16) has all the essential features of a parable. (See List of Parables in Appendix.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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