- a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson.
- a statement or comment that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison, analogy, or the like.
- a short story that uses familiar events to illustrate a religious or ethical pointRelated adjectives: parabolic, parabolical
- any of the stories of this kind told by Jesus Christ
n.mid-13c., parabol, modern form from early 14c., “saying or story in which something is expressed in terms of something else,” from Old French parable “parable, parabolic style in writing” (13c.), from Latin parabola “comparison,” from Greek parabole “a comparison, parable,” literally “a throwing beside,” hence “a juxtaposition,” from para- “alongside” (see para- (1)) + bole “a throwing, casting, beam, ray,” related to ballein “to throw” (see ballistics). Replaced Old English bispell. In Vulgar Latin, parabola took on the meaning “word,” hence Italian parlare, French parler “to speak” (see parley (n.)).