Fable vs. Parable

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Fable and Parable is that the Fable is a short fictional story that anthropomorphises non-humans to illustrate a moral lesson and Parable is a succinct, didactic story which illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles

  • Fable

    Fable is a literary genre: a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are anthropomorphized, and that illustrates or leads to a particular moral lesson (a “moral”), which may at the end be added explicitly as a pithy maxim or saying.

    A fable differs from a parable in that the latter excludes animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as actors that assume speech or other powers of humankind.

    Usage has not always been so clearly distinguished. In the King James Version of the New Testament, “μῦθος” (“mythos”) was rendered by the translators as “fable” in the First Epistle to Timothy, the Second Epistle to Timothy, the Epistle to Titus and the First Epistle of Peter.A person who writes fables is a fabulist.

  • Parable

    A parable is a succinct, didactic story, in prose or verse that illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles. It differs from a fable in that fables employ animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature as characters, whereas parables have human characters. A parable is a type of analogy.

    Some scholars of the canonical gospels and the New Testament apply the term “parable” only to the parables of Jesus, though that is not a common restriction of the term. Parables such as “The Prodigal Son” are central to Jesus’ teaching method in the canonical narratives and the apocrypha.

  • Fable (noun)

    A Aesop’s Fables.

    “morality play”

  • Fable (noun)

    Any story told to excite wonder; common talk; the theme of talk.


  • Fable (noun)

    Fiction; untruth; falsehood.

  • Fable (noun)

    The plot, story, or connected series of events forming the subject of an epic or dramatic poem.

  • Fable (verb)

    To compose fables; hence, to write or speak fiction; to write or utter what is not true.

  • Fable (verb)

    To make up; to devise, and speak of, as true or real; to tell of falsely; to recount in the form of a fable.

    “make up|invent|feign|devise”

  • Parable (noun)

    A short narrative illustrating a lesson (usually religious/moral) by comparison or analogy.

    “In the New Testament the parables told by Jesus convey His message, as in “The parable of the prodigal son”.”

    “Catholic sermons normally draw on at least one Biblical lecture, often parables.”

  • Parable (verb)

    To represent by parable.

  • Parable (adjective)

    That can easily be prepared or procured; obtainable.

  • Parable (noun)

    a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, as told by Jesus in the Gospels

    “the parable of the blind men and the elephant”

    “a modern-day parable”

Oxford Dictionary

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