1 [stawr-ee, stohr-ee]
noun, plural stories.
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.
a lie or fabrication: What he said about himself turned out to be a story.
Obsolete, history.
verb (used with object), storied, storying.
to ornament with pictured scenes, as from history or legend.
Obsolete. to tell the history or story of.

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

storyless, adjective

1. legend, fable, romance; anecdote, record, history, chronicle. 5. recital. 7. description. Unabridged


2 [stawr-ee, stohr-ee]
noun, plural stories.
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, storey.

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


[stawr-ee, stohr-ee]
Joseph, 1779–1845, U.S. jurist.
William Wetmore [wet-mawr, -mohr] , 1819–95, U.S. sculptor and poet. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To story
World English Dictionary
storey or (US) story (ˈstɔːrɪ)
n , pl -reys, -ries
1.  a floor or level of a building
2.  a set of rooms on one level
[C14: from Anglo-Latin historia, picture, from Latin: narrative, probably arising from the pictures on medieval windows]
story or (US) story
[C14: from Anglo-Latin historia, picture, from Latin: narrative, probably arising from the pictures on medieval windows]

story1 (ˈstɔːrɪ)
n , pl -ries
1.  a narration of a chain of events told or written in prose or verse
2.  Also called: short story a piece of fiction, briefer and usually less detailed than a novel
3.  Also called: story line the plot of a book, film, etc
4.  an event that could be the subject of a narrative
5.  a report or statement on a matter or event
6.  the event or material for such a report
7.  informal a lie, fib, or untruth
8.  cut a long story short, make a long story short to leave out details in a narration
9.  informal the same old story the familiar or regular course of events
10.  the story goes it is commonly said or believed
vb , -ries, -ries, -rying, -ried
11.  to decorate (a pot, wall, etc) with scenes from history or legends
[C13: from Anglo-French estorie, from Latin historia; see history]

story2 (ˈstɔːrɪ)
n , pl -ries
another spelling (esp US) of storey

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

"account of some happening," early 13c., "narrative of important events or celebrated persons of the past," from O.Fr. estorie, from L.L. storia and L. historia "history, account, tale, story" (see history). Meaning "recital of true events" first recorded late 14c.; sense
of "narrative of fictitious events meant to entertain" is from c.1500. Not differentiated from history till 1500s. As a euphemism for "a lie" it dates from 1690s. Meaning "newspaper article" is from 1892. Story-teller is from 1709. Story-line first attested 1941. That's another story "that requires different treatment" is attested from 1818. Story of my life "sad truth" first recorded 1938.

"floor of a building," c.1400, from Anglo-L. historia "floor of a building" (c.1200), also "picture," from L. historia (see history). Perhaps so called because the fronts of buildings in the Middle Ages often were decorated with rows of painted windows.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


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® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences for story
The characters performed a rock opera style retelling of the short story.
I had even quoted the kristallnacht story in my published work.
This is the story of change for people overtaken by the goodness of elderly
  miss docker.
Now often used when comparing any current situation to a past story or
  historical event.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature