Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The traditional beliefs, myths, tales, and practices of a people, transmitted orally.
  • n. The comparative study of folk knowledge and culture. Also called folkloristics.
  • n. A body of widely accepted but usually specious notions about a place, a group, or an institution: Rumors of their antics became part of the folklore of Hollywood.
  • n. A popular but unfounded belief.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The tales, legends and superstitions of a particular ethnic population.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tales, legends, or superstitions long current among the people; the unwritten literature of a culture, such as stories, proverbs, riddles and songs.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The lore of the common people; the traditional beliefs and customs of the people, especially such as are obsolete or archaic; traditional knowledge; popular superstitions, tales, traditions, or legends.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the unwritten lore (stories and proverbs and riddles and songs) of a culture

Etymologies

compound of folk + lore, coined in 1846 by William Thoms to replace terms such as "popular antiquities". Thoms imitated German terms such as Volksüberlieferung ("popular tradition"). (Wiktionary)

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