Myth meaning

mĭth
Frequency:
A person or thing existing only in imagination, or whose actual existence is not verifiable.
noun
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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.

noun
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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.
noun
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5
A fiction or half-truth, especially one that forms part of an ideology.
noun
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4
A fictitious story, person, or thing.
noun
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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.

noun
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2
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)

noun
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3
Any imaginary person or thing spoken of as though existing.
noun
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5
Any popular concept or belief regarded as baseless, unscientific, etc.
noun
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2
Mythology.
abbreviation
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(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)

noun
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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.
noun
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3

Origin of myth

  • New Latin mȳthus from Late Latin mȳthos from Greek mūthos

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Ancient Greek μῦθος (muthos, “word, humour, companion, speech, account, rumour, fable"). English since 1830.

    From Wiktionary