leg·​end | \ ˈle-jənd How to pronounce legend (audio) \

Definition of legend

1a : a story coming down from the past especially : one popularly regarded as historical although not verifiable the legend of a lost continent Arthurian legends
b : a body of such stories a place in the legend of the frontier
c : a popular myth of recent origin the legend of the Loch Ness monster
d : a person or thing that inspires legends a baseball legend
e : the subject of a legend its violence was legend even in its own time— William Broyles Jr.
2a : an inscription or title on an object (such as a coin) The quarter bore the legend "In God We Trust".
b : caption sense 2b The legend identifies the various parts of the illustrated anatomy.
c : an explanatory list of the symbols on a map or chart

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Synonyms for legend


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Examples of legend in a Sentence

I don't believe the legends I've heard about this forest. the legend of a lost continent He has become a baseball legend. The gravestone bears the legend “Rest in Peace.”
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Recent Examples on the Web The club, legend has it, chose the name as an attempt to emulate the success of the Boston Braves. cleveland, "Changing the Indians name isn’t about you, so get over it: Joey Morona," 6 July 2020 Coming from Oregon, the nephew of NBA legend Danny Ainge didn’t know much about the Alabama rivalry. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "Alot’s happened in the 5,000 days since Alabama last lost to Tennessee," 29 June 2020 Lil Wayne added some lyrics to reflect the NBA legend's January death in a helicopter crash, which also killed Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "5 things you missed at the 2020 BET Awards, from Black Lives Matter tributes to Beyoncé reigning," 29 June 2020 One turned into a tree that turned into a legend, before finally succumbing at the venerable age of 196. oregonlive, "Vancouver’s Old Apple Tree finally succumbs after nearly two centuries," 27 June 2020 Earlier this year, Shane Grammer felt compelled to paint a portrait of Kobe Bryant after the NBA legend died in a helicopter crash. Carly Mallenbaum, USA Today, "Art activism: Stories behind murals, street paintings and portraits created in protest," 22 June 2020 While this could seem like a lot for a 15-year-old son of an NBA legend, Bronny seemed well-equipped for the attention. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "How fiddling with Photoshop sent an IU baseball alum to LeBron James' brand," 18 June 2020 And whatever level of truth one ascribed to the glockenspiel's legend, 1517 was just about 500 years ago. Evan Ratliff, Wired, "We Can Protect the Economy From Pandemics. Why Didn't We?," 16 June 2020 The primary source for the legend of Anchorage’s deadly mudflats is Roger Cashin. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "The true history of Cook Inlet’s deadly mudflats," 13 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'legend.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of legend

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for legend

Middle English legende, from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French legende, from Medieval Latin legenda, from Latin, feminine of legendus, gerundive of legere to gather, select, read; akin to Greek legein to gather, say, logos speech, word, reason

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Time Traveler for legend

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The first known use of legend was in the 14th century

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Statistics for legend

Last Updated

2 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Legend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legend. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce legend (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of legend

: a story from the past that is believed by many people but cannot be proved to be true
: a famous or important person who is known for doing something extremely well
: a list that explains the symbols on a map


leg·​end | \ ˈle-jənd How to pronounce legend (audio) \

Kids Definition of legend

1 : an old story that is widely believed but cannot be proved to be true
2 : a person or thing that is very famous for having special qualities or abilities a baseball legend
3 : a list of symbols used (as on a map)

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