"socialist," 1884, from Fabian Society, founded in Britain 1884, named for Quintus Fabius Maximus (surnamed Cunctator "the Delayer"), the cautious tactician who opposed Hannibal in the Second Punic War. The Fabians chose the name to draw a distinction between their slow-going tactics and those of anarchists and communists. The Latin gens name possibly is from faba "a bean" (see bean (n.)).
c. 1300, "falsehood, fictitious narrative; a lie, pretense," from Old French fable "story, fable, tale; drama, play, fiction; lie, falsehood" (12c.), from Latin fabula "story, story with a lesson, tale, narrative, account; the common talk, news," literally "that which is told," from fari "speak, tell," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say."
Restricted sense of "animal story" (early 14c.) comes from the popularity of Aesop's tales. In modern folklore terms, defined as "a short, comic tale making a moral point about human nature, usually through animal characters behaving in human ways" ["Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore"].
The fable which is naturally and truly composed, so as to satisfy the imagination, ere it addresses the understanding, beautiful though strange as a wild-flower, is to the wise man an apothegm, and admits of his most generous interpretation. When we read that Bacchus made the Tyrrhenian mariners mad, so that they leapt into the sea, mistaking it for a meadow full of flowers, and so became dolphins, we are not concerned about the historical truth of this, but rather a higher poetical truth. We seem to hear the music of a thought, and care not If the understanding be not gratified. [Thoreau, "A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers"]
late 15c. (Caxton), "a building," a sense now obsolete, from Old French fabrique (14c.), verbal noun from fabriquer (13c.), from Latin fabricare "to make, construct, fashion, build," from fabrica "workshop," also "an art, trade; a skillful production, structure, fabric," from faber "artisan who works in hard materials," from Proto-Italic *fafro-, from PIE *dhabh-, perhaps meaning "craftsman" (source also of Armenian darbin "smith," and possibly also Lithuanian dabà "nature, habit, character," dabnùs "smart, well-dressed, elegant;" Russian dobryj "good," Gothic gadob "it fits," Old English gedēfe "fitting;" also see daft).
The noun fabrica suggests the earlier existence of a feminine noun to which an adj. *fabriko- referred; maybe ars "art, craft." [de Vaan]
From 1630s as "a thing made; a structure of any kind." The sense in English has evolved via "manufactured material" (1753) to "textile, woven or felted cloth" (1791). Compare forge (n.) which is a doublet.
c. 1500, fabricacioun, "manufacturing, construction," from Latin fabricationem (nominative fabricatio) "a structure, construction, a making," noun of action from past-participle stem of fabricare "to make, construct" (see fabricate). Meaning "lying, falsehood, forgery" is from 1790.