Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun \ˈmith\

Simple Definition of myth

  • : an idea or story that is believed by many people but that is not true

  • : a story that was told in an ancient culture to explain a practice, belief, or natural occurrence

  • : such stories as a group

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of myth

  1. 1 a :  a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon b :  parable, allegory

  2. 2 a :  a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone; especially :  one embodying the ideals and institutions of a society or segment of society <seduced by the American myth of individualism — Orde Coombs> b :  an unfounded or false notion

  3. 3 :  a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence

  4. 4 :  the whole body of myths

Examples of myth in a sentence

  1. It's an enduring myth that money brings happiness.

  2. I don't believe the myths and legends about this forest.

  3. Contrary to popular myth, no monster lives in this lake.

Origin and Etymology of myth

Greek mythos

First Known Use: 1830

Other Mythology and Folklore Terms

Rhymes with myth

fifth, frith, grith, kith, pith, smith, swith, with, withe

MYTH Defined for Kids


noun \ˈmith\

Definition of myth for Students

  1. 1 :  a story often describing the adventures of beings with more than human powers that attempts to explain mysterious events (as the changing of the seasons) or that explains a religious belief or practice

  2. 2 :  such stories as a group

  3. 3 :  a person or thing existing only in the imagination <The dragon is a myth.>

  4. 4 :  a popular belief that is not true <It's just a myth that money can buy happiness.>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up myth? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


articulated in the throat

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of these is a synonym of namby-pamby?

energetic lithe insightful insipid
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.