Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 5, 2017 is:
parable \PAIR-uh-bul\ noun
; specifically : a usually short fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitude or a religious principle
The priest opened his homily by relating the parable of the Good Samaritan, from the Gospel of Luke.
"Remotely based on the 1844 Hans Christian Andersen tale 'The Snow Queen,' a parable about faith and friendship, the movie ['Frozen'] retained only the central metaphor of a woman who can freeze people's hearts with her witchcraft." — Jesse Green, The New York Times, 15 Sept. 2017
Did you know?
Parable comes to us via Anglo-French from the Late Latin word parabola, which in turn comes from Greek parabolē, meaning "comparison." The word parabola may look familiar if you remember your geometry. The mathematical parabola
refers to a kind of comparison between a fixed point and a straight line, resulting in a parabolic curve; it came to English from New Latin (Latin as used since the end of the medieval
period, especially in scientific description and classification). Parable, however, descends from Late Latin (the Latin language used by writers in the 3rd to 6th centuries). The Late Latin term parabola referred to verbal comparisons: it essentially meant "allegory" or "speech." Other English descendants of Late Latin parabola are parole