Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[fohk-lawr, -lohr] /ˈfoʊkˌlɔr, -ˌloʊr/
the traditional beliefs, legends, customs, etc., of a people; lore of a people.
the study of such lore.
a body of widely held but false or unsubstantiated beliefs.
Origin of folklore
1846; folk + lore1; coined by English scholar and antiquary William John Thoms (1803-85)
Related forms
folklorist, noun
folkloristic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for folklorist
Historical Examples
  • Only recently has she been indicated as her nation's first folklorist and feminist!

    Brazilian Tales Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis
  • There is still to notice the unsatisfactory attitude of the folklorist.

    Folklore as an Historical Science George Laurence Gomme
  • The folklorist is not unnaturally jealous of what, in some degree, looks like Folk-Lore.

    Little Johannes Frederik van Eeden
  • Mannhardt's method was more that of the folklorist than the philologist.

  • Afanasiev, Alexander Nicolaievitsh, Russian folklorist, born in 1826.

  • This will be obvious to any folklorist of experience who will take the trouble to compare the Scandinavian and German versions.

  • There is also a rather unnecessary appendix, doubtless dear to the folklorist, of Berrichon wedding customs.

  • To the folklorist it is almost annoying to find, in so ancient a poet, so little of the seamy side of folklore.

    The World of Homer

    Andrew Lang
  • He is not a folklorist because he loves folklore, but because he sees in it the materials for elucidating the early life of man.

    Folklore as an Historical Science George Laurence Gomme
  • To the historian, folklorist, and student of primitive civilizations they are documents of the highest importance.

    The Glories of Ireland Edited by Joseph Dunn and P.J. Lennox
British Dictionary definitions for folklorist


the unwritten literature of a people as expressed in folk tales, proverbs, riddles, songs, etc
the body of stories and legends attached to a particular place, group, activity, etc: Hollywood folklore, rugby folklore
the anthropological discipline concerned with the study of folkloric materials
Derived Forms
folkloric, adjective
folklorist, noun, adjective
folkloristic, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for folklorist

1881, from folklore + -ist.



1846, coined by antiquarian William J. Thoms (1803-1885) as an Anglo-Saxonism (replacing popular antiquities) and first published in the "Athenaeum" of Aug. 22, 1846, from folk + lore. Old English folclar meant "homily."

This word revived folk in a modern sense of "of the common people, whose culture is handed down orally," and opened up a flood of compound formations, e.g. folk art (1892), folk-hero (1874), folk-medicine (1877), folk-tale/folk tale (1850; Old English folctalu meant "genealogy"), folk-song (1847), folk singer (1876), folk-dance (1877).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
folklorist in Culture

folklore definition

Traditional stories and legends, transmitted orally (rather than in writing) from generation to generation. The stories of Paul Bunyan are examples of American folklore.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for folklorist

Word Value for folklorist

Scrabble Words With Friends