legend

noun

leg·​end ˈle-jənd How to pronounce legend (audio)
1
a
: 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 timeWilliam Broyles Jr.
2
a
: 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

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.”
Recent Examples on the Web Horse lovers will enjoy visiting the national seashore to view and photograph the majestic creatures, who, according to local legend, are descendants of shipwreck survivors in the late 17th century (but were more likely intentionally brought to the island for tax evasion purposes). Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 6 June 2024 The footlong was once five dollars, or so the legend goes. Sydney Lake, Fortune, 5 June 2024 He was concerned, but another Boston sports legend, David Ortiz, saved the day. Haley Van Horn, Peoplemag, 5 June 2024 Girls just wanna tour: Cyndi Lauper is embarking on her three-month farewell tour this fall, the pop-music legend announced Monday. Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times, 3 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for legend 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'legend.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near legend

Cite this Entry

“Legend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legend. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

legend

noun
leg·​end ˈlej-ənd How to pronounce legend (audio)
1
: a story coming down from the past whose truth is popularly accepted but cannot be checked
2
a
: writing or a title on an object
c
: an explanatory list of the symbols on a map or chart
Etymology

Middle English legende "a legend," derived from Latin legenda "something to be read," derived from earlier legere "to gather, read"

Word Origin
The Latin verb legere originally meant "to gather." In time the verb came to mean "to gather with the eye, to see," and that led to the sense "to read." From this verb came the Latin noun legenda, used in the Middle Ages to mean "a thing to be read." Legenda was used to refer in particular to stories about the lives of saints. Many such stories were written in the Middle Ages, and they often included fiction along with fact. Because of that, when legenda was borrowed into English as legend, it came to mean "a story coming down from the past which may or may not be entirely true."

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