- A myth is defined as a story without an author that is passed along and is usually intended to teach a lesson, or something that is untrue.
- If many believe that black cats are evil but this isn't true, then this is an example of a myth.
- The stories the Ancient Greeks told to explain the sun and the Earth are an example of myths.
- a traditional story of unknown authorship, ostensibly with a historical basis, but serving usually to explain some phenomenon of nature, the origin of man, or the customs, institutions, religious rites, etc. of a people: myths usually involve the exploits of gods and heroes
- such stories collectively; mythology
- any fictitious story, or unscientific account, theory, belief, etc.
- any imaginary person or thing spoken of as though existing
Origin of mythLate Latin mythos ; from Classical Greek a word, speech, story, legend
- a. A traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people, as by explaining aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology, customs, or ideals of society: the myth of Eros and Psyche; a creation myth.b. Such stories considered as a group: the realm of myth.
- A popular belief or story that has become associated with a person, institution, or occurrence, especially one considered to illustrate a cultural ideal: a star whose fame turned her into a myth; the pioneer myth of suburbia.
- A fiction or half-truth, especially one that forms part of an ideology.
- A fictitious story, person, or thing: “German artillery superiority on the Western Front was a myth” (Leon Wolff).
Origin of mythNew Latin m&ymacron;thus, from Late Latin m&ymacron;thos, from Greek mūthos.
- A traditional story which embodies a belief regarding some fact or phenomenon of experience, and in which often the forces of nature and of the soul are personified; a sacred narrative regarding a god, a hero, the origin of the world or of a people, etc.
- (uncountable) Such stories as a genre.
- Myth was the product of man's emotion and imagination, acted upon by his surroundings. (E. Clodd, Myths & Dreams (1885), 7, cited after OED)
- A commonly-held but false belief, a common misconception; a fictitious or imaginary person or thing; a popular conception about a real person or event which exaggerates or idealizes reality.
- A person or thing held in excessive or quasi-religious awe or admiration based on popular legend
- Father Flanagan was legendary, his institution an American myth. (Tucson (Arizona) Citizen, 20 September 1979, 5A/3, cited after OED)
- A person or thing existing only in imagination, or whose actual existence is not verifiable.
From Ancient Greek μῦθος (muthos, “word, humour, companion, speech, account, rumour, fable”). English since 1830.