Main definitions of story in English

: story1story2

story1

noun

  • 1An account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment.

    ‘an adventure story’
    ‘I'm going to tell you a story’
    • ‘I loved reading and filled my free time with Bible stories and adventure novels for young boys.’
    • ‘It can't decide whether it is a detective story, a love story or a historical epic.’
    • ‘I write adventure stories, thrillers, so most of my heroes spend their time running after the bad guys.’
    • ‘As the story unfolds, the real character of Harry comes out into full view.’
    • ‘It is a story packed with plotting, political intrigue and bloody warfare.’
    • ‘Story telling and shadows have been around since the time of the cave people, when their fires flickered as they told stories in to the night.’
    • ‘The first film is a serious, atmospheric ghost story.’
    • ‘None of the stories were real, but one story in particular had an effect on Joanna.’
    • ‘These days children do not have grandparents telling them folklore and stories from epics.’
    • ‘We sat around the table and told stories until late into the night.’
    • ‘Both are finely observed and elegantly told stories of childhood and family life.’
    • ‘She didn't just dutifully put pen to paper, she told stories, painted pictures and opened a window into the frustrations and rare joys of her own life.’
    • ‘Henry James is not a name that springs to mind when we think of adventure stories, prose epics or historical fiction.’
    • ‘The trusty Dr Watson narrates the stories of his adventures with the sleuth of Baker Street.’
    • ‘That's why people like to be told stories, so they can forget about their own lives and enter another world.’
    • ‘His most recent work shows that a novel of philosophical analysis can be a real story.’
    • ‘I cry every time I read a sad love story.’
    • ‘Charlotte loved stories of romance and adventure, there had been so little romance or adventure in her life.’
    • ‘There are romance stories, historical stories and adventures.’
    • ‘Many SF and fantasy adventure stories are now written by female authors.’
    tale, narrative, account, recital
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A plot or story line.
      ‘the novel has a good story’
      • ‘They both have entirely messy stories, rife with plot holes and improbabilities.’
      • ‘As the plot unfolds, the story begins to collapse under the weight of its unanswered questions.’
      • ‘Shock revelations follow as the story unravels, the plot thickens and the audience grows more intrigued.’
      • ‘But I think we always return because we are hungry for the same story, the same plot.’
      • ‘The audience see it through Elaine's eyes and gradually the story unfolds and the pieces start to fall into place.’
      • ‘One option we talked about was framing the story itself in flashback with a narrator.’
      • ‘I am supposed to move the story along and provide comic relief or cynicism wherever I can.’
      • ‘There are several coincidences in the story at present that hold it together flimsily.’
      • ‘If you give people a compelling reason to come back every week for more pieces of a story, you will create rabid fans.’
      • ‘In its own way, the film works almost like a sequel to the comic, in that there are several new subplots and stories going on that weren't in the original.’
      • ‘The evidence becomes incontrovertible, leading the story to its logical denouement.’
    2. 1.2A report of an item of news in a newspaper, magazine, or news broadcast.
      ‘stories in the local papers’
      • ‘We won't have to wait for front page stories in the newspaper about a bad product.’
      • ‘The story that news papers would of course like to run is imminent collapse and absolute disaster.’
      • ‘He has written more than 2,000 news and feature stories for print and broadcast media.’
      • ‘When he returned the local newspaper had a front-page story which made him cringe.’
      • ‘Two recent front page stories in this newspaper represent the poles of opinion on crime and punishment.’
      • ‘One can read multiple news stories from different sources on the same subject.’
      • ‘I was disappointed, however, by the sensationalist way the story was presented.’
      • ‘He himself didn't find out about his dad's heroism until years later, when he read the story in a newspaper article.’
      • ‘Almost all lead stories in both major newspapers and network television news are about men's sports.’
      • ‘The policy shift has been the subject of numerous front-page news stories and op-eds.’
      • ‘That evening's television news and the next day's newspapers were full of stories about the lottery winner who had taken the cash.’
      • ‘In newspapers across America, the story was presented as a humorous tale of incredible stupidity.’
      • ‘Obviously we will be bringing you many other big news stories in your favourite newspaper over the coming 12 months.’
      • ‘Like any young sports fan in America at that time, he read newspapers and magazine stories about his heroes.’
      • ‘Every report in an Irish newspaper initially reported similar stories, he said.’
      • ‘Fiction sometimes presents a much more vivid perspective on events than we can ever glean from newspaper stories or television reports.’
      • ‘We only hope they will at least provide more careful, balanced statements during live broadcasts or in newspaper stories.’
      • ‘If you want to dig deeper, I reckon the way news media report drugs stories is but one example of a problem related to how they define news.’
      • ‘This picture is taken from the local Spanish newspaper, where the traffic story is front page news.’
      • ‘As well as highlighting these positive stories, regional newspapers also generate good news by campaigning for local causes.’
    3. 1.3A piece of gossip; a rumor.
      ‘there have been lots of stories going around, as you can imagine’
      • ‘In his letters, he gossips, tells wicked stories and speaks the unguarded truth.’
      • ‘Outside the official investigation, a different story began to circulate.’
      • ‘For centuries, if not longer, there have been rumours and stories about a giant bird living in the remote areas of Australia.’
      • ‘Along the way there were stories and rumours that the two did not get on but Serena is adamant that the duo are not involved in a bitter feud.’
      • ‘Post quiz we headed off to the bar to catch up on gossip, swap stories and generally bond a bit.’
      • ‘There are stories and rumours of people who have already gone.’
      • ‘All you've heard are stories pieced together, some blown out of all proportion over time.’
      • ‘There the matter ended and six months passed without any further published stories or rumours.’
      • ‘While on Pictou Island, I heard stories about a lot of wasteful helicoptering by government.’
      • ‘Rumours and stories about the site's future use have done the rounds for the past few years.’
      • ‘You haven't seen each other in a while, you've got time to kill and you talk about how it's going, share gossip and stories from your club.’
      • ‘He fed his in-crowd with stories, gossip, tips and steers.’
      • ‘I could tell you a lot of stories about some of my pupil's mammies and daddies and what they got up to over the years, but I'm not going to.’
    4. 1.4informal A false statement or explanation; a lie.
      ‘Ellie never told stories—she had always believed in the truth’
  • 2An account of past events in someone's life or in the evolution of something.

    ‘the story of modern farming’
    ‘the film is based on a true story’
    • ‘I hope to develop a dramatic feature-length script about his life story as well.’
    • ‘People were elected to speak with the escapees and communicate to the media their stories and personal circumstances.’
    • ‘He had just published a book of his life story, and it had become a best seller.’
    • ‘Now, the fascinating story of the woman behind the pictures has begun to emerge.’
    • ‘Do you think one day they will turn my life story into a film?’
    • ‘His life story is one of the most extraordinary tales in the history of the game.’
    • ‘For example, the narrator uses her life story as an example of how any woman can leave an abusive relationship.’
    • ‘How he arrived at that view is the story of his life and work.’
    • ‘Where they got the law from, and how they did it, is the whole story of the emergence of substantive common law.’
    • ‘Characters do tend to drop by the wayside as in a life story, and it doesn't contain a novel's narrative.’
    • ‘What struck Jarecki while interviewing David were the gaps in his life story.’
    • ‘Like me, it is a bit wrinkled and frayed at the edges but it recalls a moment of history in the life story of Britain's railway industry.’
    • ‘So we sat down next to some guy who, in very slurred speech, started to tell us his life story.’
    • ‘Yesterday morning some stranger trapped me and gave me his life story for over an hour.’
    • ‘If you want to understand the man and everything about him, then all of that is part of his life story.’
    • ‘A reformed heroin addict turned property developer is hoping to film part of his life story in Swindon.’
    • ‘The story of long term care in the United States holds lessons for the United Kingdom.’
    • ‘His Vietnam service apart, his life story was insufficiently inspirational to excite the electorate.’
    • ‘His life story gives his words authenticity, whether he is talking about social exclusion or global conflict.’
    • ‘They had been expecting him to make an announcement about his new film, which will centre on his life story.’
    1. 2.1A particular person's representation of the facts of a matter, especially as given in self-defense.
      ‘during police interviews, Harper changed his story’
      • ‘It's because of the Observer article that James was able to tell his own story to a local newspaper.’
      • ‘Cassie was glad that she had finally told her side of the story but she knew that there was still more to come.’
      • ‘Now in the interests of balance, something we're very keen on here, here's her side of the story.’
      • ‘At best, it will make some detainees feel better by letting them tell their side of the story.’
      • ‘The police chief's decision to tell his side of the story proved controversial from the start.’
      • ‘All the women tell the same story of poverty and the need to provide for their families.’
      • ‘Most of them brushed me off, but a few of them actually stopped and listened to my side of the story.’
      • ‘Adela is put in the witness box and she is asked to recount her side of the story.’
      • ‘Ask any tube driver from any line and they will tell the same story.’
      • ‘Moreover Sherwood had told O'Brien to tell the same story as that originally told by Sherwood.’
      • ‘Then Bruce decided to go about and tell everyone, so I will present my side of the story.’
      • ‘They do not always have access to the media, and are not necessarily able to tell their side of the story to the public.’
      • ‘Apart from issuing a few brief statements, the failed viceroy has yet to face the media to tell his side of the story.’
      • ‘Analysts and investors are just not listening to our side of the story.’
      • ‘I want to hear your side of the story now, I want to know what you think about all this.’
      • ‘When he decided to give us an interview, all other criminals wanted to give their side of the story.’
      • ‘I didn't try and listen or believe your side of the story even when you tried to tell me.’
      • ‘Bryan was going to tell her his side of the story whether she wanted to hear it or not.’
      • ‘Anyway, I have decided to take your side of the story into consideration.’
      • ‘Up until today I have not had the opportunity once again to defend myself, to give my side of the story.’
    2. 2.2[in singular]A situation viewed in terms of the information known about it or its similarity to another.
      ‘having such information is useful, but it is not the whole story’
      ‘many children with leukemia now survive—twenty years ago it was a very different story’
      • ‘However, the company denied any money had been lost and, within days, a different story emerged.’
      • ‘They kicked a lot of wides in the first half and if they had put them on the board it might have been a different story.’
      • ‘He said that he met the warrant officer outside the police station and told him the whole story.’
      • ‘When a court official was dispatched by the judge to check the truth a different story emerged.’
      • ‘It might have been a different story had they not spurned two gilt-edged chances in the first five minutes.’
      • ‘The Students' Council made two good decisions on Sunday, but that isn't the whole story.’
      • ‘The other half of the story, its complementary half, is the story about information.’
      • ‘Words and a picture don't always tell the whole story.’
      • ‘When we turn to the artisans and the peasantry of France, a different story emerges.’
      • ‘However, it is a different story altogether when conflict occurs in a real life situation.’
      • ‘If it had happened at night then the story might have been different.’
      • ‘The whole story is however just another Leftist lie.’
      • ‘It is a story that has worrying similarities with the experiences of farmers elsewhere.’
      • ‘The look on the faces of those young participants, even those who don't win, tells the whole story.’
      • ‘It might have been a different story if I had ventured to a bar in town by myself, but who knows.’
      • ‘If you only look at what the media says about attacks and dog bites, then you're not getting the whole story.’
      • ‘The front doors of almost every hospital department tell the same story.’
      • ‘But it was a different story when an easier chance fell for him a minute later.’
      • ‘When they win it's a different story altogether; they're everywhere, like a bad rash.’
      • ‘But it could have been a different story had the home side taken advantage of the chances which fell their way.’

Phrases

  • but that's another story

    • informal Used after raising a matter to indicate that one does not want to expand on it for now.

      • ‘I also hate people who don't even smile or thank you when you hold the door open for them out of courtesy, but that's another story.’
      • ‘Then I got a job and bought a house, and then I went to work in Washington DC... but that's another story.’
      • ‘His well-meaning wife also once performed an exorcism in my kitchen, but that's another story.’
      • ‘And I must say I was pretty impressed with his Spanish, but that's another story.’
      • ‘I actually remember what I was doing the day he died, but that's another story.’
      • ‘I know the council planners are very busy worrying about chimney stacks on new houses that don't actually need them, but that's another story.’
      • ‘Then he started on the subliminal advertising, but that's another story altogether.’
      • ‘There was also a papaya tree on the balcony that eventually crashed, pot and all into the back lane below, but that's another story.’
      • ‘There's an outside chance my son was conceived there, but that's another story.’
      • ‘Of course I was useless with women, but that's another story.’
  • it's a long story

    • informal Used to indicate that, for now, one does not want to talk about something that is too involved or painful.

      • ‘Lois glanced away from me, saying ‘Look, Kendra it's a long story.’’
      • ‘It's (the tail end of) Purim, when it's traditional to eat triangular shaped pastries, though frankly it's a long story that I can't go into now.’
      • ‘Look it's a long story and I don't want to talk about it okay!’
      • ‘I would do a reading for you, but I just don't do reading for strangers; it's a long story.’
      • ‘Yeah, I don't like sunny weather, it makes me depressed, it's a long story so I'll end it there.’
      • ‘But it's a long story, and I don't have the energy right now.’
      • ‘I really need you to come home - it's a long story and I'm really, really sorry.’
      • ‘‘I - it's a long story,’ she said, looking away and twisting her fingers painfully.’
      • ‘Yeah, it's a long story, I'll tell you some other time.’
      • ‘Never mind, it's a long story - I just owe her something from the past.’
  • it's (or that's) the story of one's life

    • informal Used to lament the fact that a particular misfortune has happened too often in one's experience.

      ‘“It's the story of my life,” my mother would say when she returned home from a sale empty-handed’
      • ‘But that's the story of my life - missed opportunities and bad timing.’
      • ‘I was running a little late, but then that's the story of my life.’
      • ‘I guess it's the story of my life, I'm always letting down people.’
      • ‘He didn't want to, and that's the story of my life.’
  • the same old story

    • Used to indicate that a particular bad situation is tediously familiar.

      ‘are we not faced with the same old story of a badly managed project?’
      • ‘But it was the same old story: A father and son drifting apart.’
      • ‘We are capable of beating most sides in this league, yet it's been the same old story in the last two or three matches as silly goals have cost us badly.’
      • ‘Basically it the same old story of idiots with muscles trying to act important instead of just doing their job.’
      • ‘It's the same old story: no shortage of applicants, just a shortage of high - quality applicants.’
      • ‘I have also sat on a New York City grand jury and heard over one hundred narcotics cases, and it is the same old story from everyone.’
      • ‘This car is very good, and I don't think my driving has been that bad, but it's the same old story: I've been in the wrong place at the wrong time.’
      • ‘And on the show went last Sunday, but it was the same old story for Sligo.’
      • ‘But it's always the same old story: New coach comes in, wows everyone into believing the Irish are back, but then it all goes south.’
      • ‘But it's the same old story - the keeper is always singled out for the blame.’
      • ‘Sad to say, we'll likely have the same old story for at least another decade.’
  • the story goes

    • It is said or rumored.

      ‘the story goes that he's fallen out with his friends’
      • ‘People who hold traditional values, so the story goes, are under siege.’
      • ‘This, the story goes, secured a large crowd, a conviction for indecency and copious ticket-shifting headlines.’
      • ‘A few days later, so the story goes, a large growth resembling the stump of an animal's horn sprang from the guilty man's forehead.’
      • ‘This fearsome serpent, so the story goes, had a poisoned tongue, breathed fire and smoke, and had teeth as large as the prongs of a pitchfork.’
      • ‘Pirates fleeing the British navy, as the story goes, found themselves on St Lucia's east coast off of Marquis Bay.’
      • ‘Over time, the story goes, the population inside the wall grew and the city became overcrowded.’
      • ‘We called it Nelson because it only had one eye, the other one having been ripped out by a hungry seagull - or so the story goes.’
      • ‘As the story goes, one customer ordered the syrup and the serving assistant accidentally mixed it with carbonated water.’
      • ‘As the story goes, she was a formidable woman who did not take to fools kindly.’
      • ‘Families today are sufficiently comfortably off to be unfazed by a gift of £250 - or so the story goes.’
  • to make (or britishcut) a long story short

    • Used to end an account of events quickly.

      ‘to make a long story short, I married Stephen’
      • ‘I became independent and to make a long story short, here I am now, living in an apartment, financially stable, and not addicted to drugs.’
      • ‘Anyway to cut a long story short, we complained as did other guests to the arrogant hotelier, who did, after being berated, agree to refund our money.’
      • ‘Well, to make a long story short, I impressed this group of young kids so much that they begged me to be on their team.’
      • ‘That's when we went public, and to make a long story short, it didn't work out.’
      • ‘It was total drama, and to make a long story short, for one of the few times in my life, I thought I was in love.’
      • ‘Anyway, to make a long story short, I met a guy - a fellow chorus boy - and we had a fling.’
      • ‘I was doing research on how traumatic experiences impact memory functioning and to make a long story short, alien abductions was a type of traumatic experience people were reporting.’
      • ‘Having landed in the New World in 1519, he stumbled across the Aztec xocoatl drink and, to cut a long story short, was responsible for spreading its popularity across the globe.’
      • ‘Well, to make a long story short, Warren came to the play bearing a bouquet of roses for the leading lady, and the rest is history.’
      • ‘So to make a long story short, I am finally graduating and I would never come back to this school to do my masters.’

Origin

Middle English (denoting a historical account or representation): shortening of Anglo-Norman French estorie, from Latin historia (see history).

Pronunciation:

story

/ˈstôrē/

Main definitions of story in English

: story1story2

story2

(British storey)

noun

North american
  • A part of a building comprising all the rooms that are on the same level.

    [in combination] ‘a three-story building’
    • ‘The original building was two storeys with the upper floor being removed in 1866.’
    • ‘Both buildings are three storeys with retail use at ground floor level and the upper floors in use as offices and storage.’
    • ‘The apartment blocks will range in size up to a maximum of four storeys above courtyard level, and the first phase of units will be ready for occupation within a year.’
    • ‘The three storey building comprises a ground floor retail unit and residential accommodation overhead.’
    • ‘A reinforced concrete structure, with doors and windows in steel, the building is eleven storeys, plus a roof terrace and basement.’
    • ‘Towards the north end, the building rises to two storeys, and the roof of the colonnade forms an external gallery.’
    • ‘Think of a jet faster than the Concorde, or a building taller than 120 storeys.’
    • ‘Some went as high as five stories, the top floor usually containing servants' rooms.’
    • ‘She said work on the top floor of the three storey building began in January and is expected to be finished by the end of this month.’
    • ‘The new facility, which provides accommodation for 102 children in a two and a half storey building, is on a small site on Glenmorris Street.’
    • ‘Less than one minute later, she was in Ms Kiss's office, on the second floor of the three storey building.’
    • ‘Inside the glass box are a large open dining room and living room, both two stories high.’
    • ‘Player, administration and spectator facilities are arranged on three levels underneath the grandstand, with changing areas on the lowest storey at pitch level.’
    • ‘The 10,000 sq. ft. building has three storeys over a basement and also includes a car park with access from Tobergal Lane.’
    • ‘Arches in three planes provide long spans in the prayer hall and carry the upper three storeys of the mosque.’
    • ‘The whole building will be raised half a storey above the ground to comply with existing levels.’
    • ‘Its walls stand five-foot thick, the building is three storeys high with small castellated towers sticking out at the tops of each corner of the building.’
    • ‘The apartments will be arranged in courtyards with the highest building rising to five storeys, including the penthouse level.’
    • ‘The building, four storeys high and designed to a taut geometry, is an abstract composition of concrete, stainless steel and glass.’
    • ‘Steel girders have been used in its construction, which could allow for building of a second storey or mezzanine.’
    floor, level, tier
    flight, deck
    piano nobile, mezzanine, entresol
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: shortening of Latin historia history, story a special use in Anglo-Latin, perhaps originally denoting a tier of painted windows or sculptures on the front of a building (representing a historical subject).

Pronunciation:

story

/ˈstôrē/