Definition of folk tale in US English:

folk tale


  • A story originating in popular culture, typically passed on by word of mouth.

    • ‘It is precisely with this sense of anticipation that I picked up this book of Dogri folk tales and I was not disappointed.’
    • ‘Based on a Russian folk tale, the story outlines the misfortunes of a young soldier who sells his soul to the devil.’
    • ‘Early Indonesian literature consisted largely of local folk tales and traditional religious stories.’
    • ‘Another popular figure in myth and folk tales is Aligouran, a character in a series of adventures involving an uncle and his nephew.’
    • ‘I think you can see the same kind of idea present in a lot of folk tales and fairy tales as well.’
    • ‘Family narratives, confirmed by the life events of both sisters, were defined as experiences, not just ‘untrue’ stories like folk tales.’
    • ‘Folklorists use the word ‘stories’ as a collective term for folk tales, legends, memorates, and personal narratives.’
    • ‘Using painting, photography and silver ink on black paper the works portray a bizarre folk tale story.’
    • ‘During his early graduate work, Professor Dundes found himself drawn to the stories - the myths, the folk tales, the legends - behind the literature.’
    • ‘One popular folk tale tells the story of Sebgugugu.’
    • ‘The story of the two brothers Hungbu and Nolbu is one of the most typical and popular of all Korean folk tales.’
    • ‘Other famous fairytale writers, such as the German Grimm brothers, were primarily compilers and recorders of folk tales.’
    • ‘We brought certain folk, music, and literary traditions with us from Europe and turned them into novels, stories, folk tales, songs, and music.’
    • ‘Like all good folk tales these are stories of human ingenuity and stupidity, the worst of human nature and the best.’
    • ‘The ‘Fox Story’ which is adapted from a French folk tale tells the story about a wily fox called Renart.’
    • ‘Conflict is then almost endemic to a good story, and literature, mythology, folk tales, and even religious texts are full of violent narratives.’
    • ‘The Edge of the World is really a modern folk tale, a story of family honor and the burden of history.’
    • ‘Based on an old folk tale, the story is not about the the so-called ‘Devil,’ or about the evil in our midst, as some reviewers seem to think.’
    • ‘In art and literature, in folk tales and mythology, the mother, as the personification of love and compassion, has been glorified and put up on a pedestal.’
    • ‘The visitors assumed the stories were just folk tales.’
    myth, saga, epic, folk story, traditional story, tale, story, fairy tale, narrative, fable, romance
    View synonyms


folk tale

/ˈfoʊk ˌteɪl//ˈfōk ˌtāl/