Meaning of a tall tale in English:

a tall tale


(also a tall story)
  • An account that is fanciful and difficult to believe.

    ‘speakers delighted the audience with true stories and tall tales’
    • ‘he would regale me with some of his tall stories’
    • ‘He could make you hear his sly smile, he could make you cry at a sad story, he could make you believe a tall tale.’
    • ‘It may sound like a tall tale but a Keighley museum has come to the rescue after an Isle of Man exhibition was unable to find any stuffed Manx cats to display - despite the cats originating on the island several hundred years ago.’
    • ‘I can't find any info, is this just a tall tale or is it true?’
    • ‘The story, with the structure of a tall tale and the scenery of historical horror, does not give a moral or a resolution.’
    • ‘We argued whether Grandpa Cody's stories about him being a knight back in the old days was true or was a tall tale.’
    • ‘O'Reilly claimed his story was a compilation of tall tales told by real cowboys, but this seems itself a tall tale: oral historians are unconvinced that Pecos Bill is anything but a media creation.’
    • ‘That's a tall tale - with no foundation in reality!’
    • ‘The old sailors, diggers and airmen treated the younger generation to a few yarns and perhaps a tall tale or two, with their mates alongside recalling the same events as if they were yesterday.’
    • ‘When it comes to flamethrowers, after all, it's hard to figure out what's the truth and what's a tall tale.’
    • ‘Throughout the film, the commodore repeats a tall tale about his exploits as an Indian fighter.’
    • ‘Assuming this is a tall tale made up to lend an air of mystery to an otherwise innocuous eBay sale it is still a clever bit of advertising.’
    unlikely, improbable, exaggerated, far-fetched, implausible, dubious, overblown, unbelievable, incredible, preposterous, outrageous, absurd