American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. 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.
- n. Such stories considered as a group: the realm of myth.
- n. 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.
- n. A fiction or half-truth, especially one that forms part of an ideology.
- n. A fictitious story, person, or thing: "German artillery superiority on the Western Front was a myth” ( Leon Wolff).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A traditional story in which the operations of natural forces and occurrences in human history are represented as the actions of individual living beings, especially of men, or of imaginary extra-human beings acting like men; a tale handed down from primitive times, and in form historical, but in reality involving elements of early religious views, as respecting the origin of things, the powers of nature and their workings, the rise of institutions, the history of races and communities, and the like; a legend of cosmogony, of gods and heroes, and of animals possessing wondrous gifts.
- n. In a looser sense, an invented story; something purely fabulous or having no existence in fact; an imaginary or fictitious individual or object: as, his wealthy relative was a mere myth; his having gone to Paris is a myth. Myth is thus often used as a euphemism for falsehood or lie. Synonyms Myth, Fable, Parable. See the quotation.
- n. A landmark for directing the course of a vessel through a channel, or along a dangerous shore.
- n. An abbreviation of mythological, mythology.
- n. 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.
- n. uncountable such stories as a genre
- n. 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.
- n. A person or thing held in excessive or quasi-religious awe or admiration based on popular legend
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A story of great but unknown age which originally embodied a belief regarding some fact or phenomenon of experience, and in which often the forces of nature and of the soul are personified; an ancient legend of a god, a hero, the origin of a race, etc.; a wonder story of prehistoric origin; a popular fable which is, or has been, received as historical.
- n. A person or thing existing only in imagination, or whose actual existence is not verifiable.
- n. a traditional story accepted as history; serves to explain the world view of a people
- From Ancient Greek μῦθος (muthos, "word, humour, companion, speech, account, rumour, fable"). English since 1830. (Wiktionary)
- New Latin mȳthus, from Late Latin mȳthos, from Greek mūthos. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The myth may be engaged in the transmission of a narrative of early deeds and events, having a foundation in truth, which truth, however, has been greatly distorted and perverted by the omission or introduction of circumstances and personages, and then it constitutes the _historical myth_.”
“Many use the term myth in a pejorative sense to mean that the stories described are not factually true.”
“It's being discovered that much of the Clinton-supporters-moving-to-McCain myth is being stoked by Republicans trying to weaken the Democratic Party.”
“As the term myth may suggest, it is something which is absurd or fictional.”
“Among the biggest battles the union is fighting is what it calls the myth that federal workers are overpaid and don't work hard.”
“Still another myth is the so-called “generous offer” turned down by Palestinian President Arafat at Camp David in 2000.”
“At a hearing Thursday, Rep. Scott Garrett R-N.J., chairman of a House Financial Services subcommittee, disputed what he called a "myth" that the agency has been starved for funds.”
“- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: a myth is as good as a mile.”
“That certainly could harm the industry if this myth is allowed to perpetuate.”
“When you hear the word "myth" associated with the Bible, what is the first thought that comes to your mind?”
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