fabliau, plural fabliauxboth: fäblēōˈ, short comic, often bawdy tale in verse that deals realistically and satirically with middle-class or lower-class characters. Fabliaux were often directed against marriage and against members of the clergy. The form was extremely popular in France during the Middle Ages. Excellent examples of fabliaux can be found in pre-Christian Oriental literature, in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and in Boccaccio's Decameron.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.