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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (2)

1. a short moral story (often with animal characters);
[syn: fable, parable, allegory, apologue]

2. (New Testament) any of the stories told by Jesus to convey his religious message;
- Example: "the parable of the prodigal son"


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Parable \Par"a*ble\, v. t. To represent by parable. [R.] [1913 Webster] Which by the ancient sages was thus parabled. --Milton. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Parable \Par"a*ble\, a. [L. parabilis, fr. parare to provide.] Procurable. [Obs.] --Sir T. Browne. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Parable \Par"a*ble\, n. [F. parabole, L. parabola, fr. Gr. ? a placing beside or together, a comparing, comparison, a parable, fr. ? to throw beside, compare; para` beside + ? to throw; cf. Skr. gal to drop. Cf. Emblem, Gland, Palaver, Parabola, Parley, Parabole, Symbol.] A comparison; a similitude; specifically, a short fictitious narrative of something which might really occur in life or nature, by means of which a moral is drawn; as, the parables of Christ. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Declare unto us the parable of the tares. --Matt. xiii. 36. [1913 Webster] Syn: See Allegory, and Note under Apologue. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

parable n 1: a short moral story (often with animal characters) [syn: fable, parable, allegory, apologue] 2: (New Testament) any of the stories told by Jesus to convey his religious message; "the parable of the prodigal son"
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

39 Moby Thesaurus words for "parable": Marchen, Western, Western story, Westerner, adventure story, allegory, apologue, bedtime story, comparison, detective story, fable, fabliau, fairy tale, fantasy, fiction, folk story, folktale, gest, ghost story, horse opera, legend, lesson, love story, mystery, mystery story, myth, mythology, mythos, nursery tale, romance, science fiction, shocker, similitude, space fiction, space opera, suspense story, thriller, whodunit, work of fiction
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:

Parable (Gr. parabole), a placing beside; a comparison; equivalent to the Heb. mashal, a similitude. In the Old Testament this is used to denote (1) a proverb (1 Sam. 10:12; 24:13; 2 Chr. 7:20), (2) a prophetic utterance (Num. 23:7; Ezek. 20:49), (3) an enigmatic saying (Ps. 78:2; Prov. 1:6). In the New Testament, (1) a proverb (Mark 7:17; Luke 4:23), (2) a typical emblem (Heb. 9:9; 11:19), (3) a similitude or allegory (Matt. 15:15; 24:32; Mark 3:23; Luke 5:36; 14:7); (4) ordinarily, in a more restricted sense, a comparison of earthly with heavenly things, "an earthly story with a heavenly meaning," as in the parables of our Lord. Instruction by parables has been in use from the earliest times. A large portion of our Lord's public teaching consisted of parables. He himself explains his reasons for this in his answer to the inquiry of the disciples, "Why speakest thou to them in parables?" (Matt. 13:13-15; Mark 4:11, 12; Luke 8:9, 10). He followed in so doing the rule of the divine procedures, as recorded in Matt. 13:13. The parables uttered by our Lord are all recorded in the synoptical (i.e., the first three) Gospels. The fourth Gospel contains no parable properly so called, although the illustration of the good shepherd (John 10:1-16) has all the essential features of a parable. (See List of Parables in Appendix.)