- a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.
- stories or matter of this kind: realm of myth.
- any invented story, idea, or concept: His account of the event is pure myth.
- an imaginary or fictitious thing or person.
- an unproved or false collective belief that is used to justify a social institution.
Origin of myth
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for myth
In the 70s, this myth kept openly gay people out of teaching positions.Freaking Out About Age Gaps in Gay Relationships Is Homophobic
January 9, 2015
And they all travel affordably, busting the myth that travel is only for the elite.‘We Out Here’: Inside the New Black Travel Movement
January 4, 2015
Hangover Rx: “The old ‘hair of the dog’ is pretty much just a myth,” says White.5 Hangover Cures to Save You After a Few Too Many
December 19, 2014
Catherine Lemay is impressed by neither the myth nor the reality when she arrives in Montana in the summer of 1956.
The reality of life in the West is harder and more complicated than the myth.
All this seemed very plausible and interesting, but it is undoubtedly a myth.English Villages
P. H. Ditchfield
Then Ralph whispered, "We know it was only a myth, don't we?"
That makes me think, Charlie, of a myth there is about the first anemones.
The story should follow, if possible, a tale or lesson on the subject of the myth.
My mother's kind god was a myth and a joke, with no power here one way or the other.The Harbor
- a person or thing whose existence is fictional or unproven
- (in modern literature) a theme or character type embodying an ideaHemingway's myth of the male hero
- philosophy (esp in the writings of Plato) an allegory or parable
Word Origin and History for myth
1830, from French Mythe (1818) and directly from Modern Latin mythus, from Greek mythos "speech, thought, story, myth, anything delivered by word of mouth," of unknown origin.
Myths are "stories about divine beings, generally arranged in a coherent system; they are revered as true and sacred; they are endorsed by rulers and priests; and closely linked to religion. Once this link is broken, and the actors in the story are not regarded as gods but as human heroes, giants or fairies, it is no longer a myth but a folktale. Where the central actor is divine but the story is trivial ... the result is religious legend, not myth." [J. Simpson & S. Roud, "Dictionary of English Folklore," Oxford, 2000, p.254]
General sense of "untrue story, rumor" is from 1840.