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urban legend

a modern story of obscure origin and with little or no supporting evidence that spreads spontaneously in varying forms and often has elements of humor, moralizing, or horror:
Are there alligators living in the New York City sewer system, or is that just an urban legend?
Also called urban myth.
Origin of urban legend
1970-75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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British Dictionary definitions for urban myth

urban myth

a story, esp one with a shocking or amusing ending, related as having actually happened, usu. to someone vaguely connected with the teller
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
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Contemporary definitions for urban myth

a folkloric and often sensational tale about modern life that is repeated in the media and by other means, making it more believable to some; also called urban legend

Word Origin

from the book book The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends & Their Meanings

noun's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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