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.
Greek mŷthos has a tremendously wide range of meaning: “a word, a speech, mere speech (as opposed to érga ‘deeds’), something said, a thought, an unspoken word, a purpose, a rumor, a report, a saying, fiction (as opposed to lógos ‘historical truth’), the plot of a play, a narrative, a story, a story for children, a fable.”
Sixty percent of Greek vocabulary has no known etymology, and mŷthos is probably within that 60 percent, but it is possible that mŷthos comes from the uncommon Proto-Indo-European root mēudh-, mūdh- (with other variants) “to be concerned with, crave, earnestly desire, think over.” Following this theory, from the variant mūdh-, Greek derives mŷthos and its derivative verb mȳtheîsthai “to speak, converse, tell”; Gothic has maudjan “to remind, remember”; Lithuanian has maûsti “to be concerned with,” and Polish has myśleć “to think.”
- coun·ter·myth, noun
Other definitions for myth. (2 of 2)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use myth in a sentence
In the 70s, this myth kept openly gay people out of teaching positions.Freaking Out About Age Gaps in Gay Relationships Is Homophobic | Samantha Allen | January 9, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
And they all travel affordably, busting the myth that travel is only for the elite.‘We Out Here’: Inside the New Black Travel Movement | Charlise Ferguson | January 4, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Hangover Rx: “The old ‘hair of the dog’ is pretty much just a myth,” says White.
“The crack baby myth is being recapitulated in terms of NAS,” Sunderlin said.States Slap Pregnant Women With Harsher Jail Sentences | Emily Shire | December 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
And likewise the Easter bunny, a bizarre pagan myth if ever one there was.
The myth of "Boreas and Orithyia," though faulty perhaps in technique, is good in conception and arrangement.Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D. | Clara Erskine Clement
No such ethical bearing as this was ever assigned the myth by the red race before they were taught by Europeans.The Myths of the New World | Daniel G. Brinton
I wanted to show you that this man with the gold tooth and the brown beard is no myth, as you seem to believe.The Winning Clue | James Hay, Jr.
For ourselves, we do not credit the myth of the Hellenists; of the very existence of a Hercules we are profoundly incredulous.Ancient Faiths And Modern | Thomas Inman
In Celtic myth the Silver Bough played a less sinister part, and figures as a fairy talisman to music and delight.Archaic England | Harold Bayley
British Dictionary definitions for myth (1 of 2)
a story about superhuman beings of an earlier age taken by preliterate society to be a true account, usually of how natural phenomena, social customs, etc, came into existence
a person or thing whose existence is fictional or unproven
(in modern literature) a theme or character type embodying an idea: Hemingway's myth of the male hero
philosophy (esp in the writings of Plato) an allegory or parable
British Dictionary definitions for myth. (2 of 2)
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