1. a narrative purporting to relate the facts about some real or imaginary event, incident, or case; a story.
2. a literary composition having the form of such a narrative: Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales'.
3. a falsehood; lie.
4. a rumour or piece of gossip, especially when malicious.
5. Archaic. the full number or amount.
6. Archaic. enumeration, numbering, or counting.
7. Obsolete talk or discourse.
[ME; OE talu reckoning, speech, c. D taal speech, language, G Zahl number]