Definition of parable in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈperəb(ə)l/


A simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, as told by Jesus in the Gospels.
Example sentences
  • Jesus Christ sometimes used the camel in parables.
  • Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; without a parable he told them nothing.
  • In each gospel some of the parables are linked explicitly to Jesus' proclamation of the kingdom of God.
allegory, moral story/tale, fable, exemplum


Middle English: from Old French parabole, from an ecclesiastical Latin sense 'discourse, allegory' of Latin parabola 'comparison', from Greek parabolē (see parabola).

  • The word parable is from an ecclesiastical Latin sense ‘discourse, allegory’ of Latin parabola ‘comparison’. The source is Greek parabolē ‘placing side by side, application’, from para- ‘beside’ and bolē ‘a throw’. The Latin parabola came to be used for the symmetrical curve in the late 16th century, and the same Latin root lies behind parley and parole [both LME]. See also palaver, parliament, ballistic

Words that rhyme with parable

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