Apologue – Definition & Meaning

Apologue is a term that is not commonly used in everyday language, but it is a word that has been around for centuries. It is often used in literature and is a type of story that is used to convey a moral lesson or a message. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of apologue, its origin, and its usage in different contexts.


Apologue is defined as a short story or fable that is used to teach a moral lesson or a message. It is a form of allegory that uses animals or other non-human characters to represent human behavior or experiences. The word apologue is derived from the Greek word “apologia,” which means a defense or an explanation.


The origin of apologue can be traced back to ancient times, where stories were used to convey moral lessons and messages. Aesop’s Fables, which were written in ancient Greece, are some of the earliest examples of apologues. These fables used animals to represent human behavior and were used to teach children about moral values.

Meaning in different dictionaries

The meaning of apologue can vary slightly depending on the dictionary. According to Merriam-Webster, apologue is “a moral fable, especially one using animals as characters.” Oxford English Dictionary defines apologue as “a moral fable or allegory, especially one in which animals or inanimate objects speak and act like human beings.”


Apologue is often associated with fables, parables, and allegories. These literary forms use stories to teach moral lessons and messages. Apologues are also associated with ancient literature, particularly Aesop’s Fables.


Some synonyms of apologue include fable, parable, allegory, moral tale, and moral story.


There are no direct antonyms of apologue, but some words that are opposite in meaning include lie, fiction, and falsehood.

The same root words

The word apologue is derived from the Greek word “apologia,” which means a defense or an explanation. The same root words can be found in other words such as apology, apologist, and apologetics.

Example Sentences

  1. Aesop’s Fables are some of the most well-known apologues in the world.
  2. The teacher used an apologue to teach the children about the importance of honesty.
  3. The novel was filled with allegories and apologues that conveyed the author’s message.
  4. The fable of the tortoise and the hare is a classic apologue that teaches the value of perseverance.
  5. The author used an apologue to criticize the government’s policies without directly attacking them.
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