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urban legend

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noun
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?
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Also called urban myth .

Origin of urban legend

First recorded in 1970–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

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