myth, fable, legend

A myth is not only a legendary or traditional story, usually one concerning a superhuman being and dealing with events that have no natural explanation (See mysterious), but also an unproved belief and an invented idea or story: "The story of Atlas holding up the world on his shoulders is a myth." "It is a myth that all sharks are dangerous." "His excuses for his failure are only myths." A fable is a simple story with animals as characters, one designed to teach a moral truth: "His favorite fable was the one about the fox and the grapes." Fable is also applied to stories about supernatural beings (resembling a myth), to accounts of extraordinary events, and to outright falsehoods: "Jim's account of flying with self-made wings is an outright fable." A legend is a tradition or story handed down from earlier times and now popularly accepted as true, believable, or delightful: "A legend forms the basis of Irving's short story about a headless horseman in 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. ' "

Dictionary of problem words and expressions. . 1975.

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  • fable — See myth. See myth, fable, legend …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • legend — See myth. See myth, fable, legend …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • myth — See myth, fable, legend …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • Myth — (m[i^]th), n. [Written also {mythe}.] [Gr. my^qos myth, fable, tale, talk, speech: cf. F. mythe.] 1. A story of great but unknown age which originally embodied a belief regarding some fact or phenomenon of experience, and in which often the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Myth history — Myth Myth (m[i^]th), n. [Written also {mythe}.] [Gr. my^qos myth, fable, tale, talk, speech: cf. F. mythe.] 1. A story of great but unknown age which originally embodied a belief regarding some fact or phenomenon of experience, and in which often …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fable — ► NOUN 1) a short story with a moral, typically featuring animals as characters. 2) a supernatural story incorporating elements of myth and legend. 3) myth and legend. DERIVATIVES fabler noun. ORIGIN Old French, from Latin fabula story …   English terms dictionary

  • fable — [fā′bəl] n. [ME < OFr < L fabula, a story < fari, to speak: see FAME] 1. a fictitious story meant to teach a moral lesson: the characters are usually talking animals 2. a myth or legend 3. a story that is not true; falsehood 4. Archaic… …   English World dictionary

  • legend — leg•end [[t]ˈlɛdʒ ənd[/t]] n. 1) a nonhistorical or unverifiable story handed down by tradition from earlier times and popularly accepted as historical 2) the body of stories of this kind, esp. as they relate to a particular people, group, or… …   From formal English to slang

  • legend — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. tradition, tale, saga; myth, edda; inscription, motto. See description. II (Roget s IV) n. 1. [An improbable, traditional story] Syn. folk tale, saga, fable; see myth , story . 2. [A brief piece of… …   English dictionary for students

  • Legend — For other uses, see Legend (disambiguation) and Legendary (disambiguation). A depiction of the legendary Rütlischwur. A legend (Latin, legenda, things to be read ) is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to …   Wikipedia

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