apocryphal was our Word of the Day on 08/15/2011. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of apocryphal in a Sentence
During these men's professional lives, Wall Street has become accustomed to getting what it wants from Washington. America's top bankers have an even longer history of not giving a hoot what the public thinks. Sample (possibly apocryphal) quote from the original J.P. Morgan: “ I owe the public nothing.” —Daniel Gross, Newsweek, 23 Feb. 2009
True or apocryphal, the story of the invention of the fried Ipswich clam—Mr. Woodman, faced with a huge vat of hot oil for his potato chips and a mess of clams harvested from the mud flats of his home town, reportedly had a eureka moment—is unabashed gospel for lovers of this regional specialty. —Nancy Harmon Jenkins, New York Times, 21 Aug. 2002
There is a story, perhaps apocryphal, about Leonard Bernstein and tax returns. On the line that asked him to list his profession, Bernstein didn't write “conductor” or “composer,” or “pianist,” or “teacher.” He simply wrote, “musician.” —Bari Walsh, Bostonia, Winter 2000-2001
an apocryphal story about the president's childhood
Recent Examples of apocryphal from the Web
Journalist Jon Ralston is referring to a probably apocryphal conversation between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
In the apparently apocryphal remarks, the emir praised Iran and Hezbollah (but also Israel?) and disparaged the United States.
Another explanation is the apocryphal story of blue whales purposely beaching on land.
One anecdote from around the same time, possibly apocryphal, is widely shared.
That story, while often repeated, appears to be apocryphal.
An apocryphal story tells of a despondent man getting on a train.
But the apocryphal quotation—nineteenth-century fake news—is apt today.
Over time, this story, clearly apocryphal in places, has been sanitized.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apocryphal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
In Bible study, the term "Apocrypha" refers to sections of the Bible that are not sanctioned as belonging to certain official canons. In some Protestant versions these sections appear between the Old and New Testaments. More generally, the word refers to writings or statements whose purported origin is in doubt. Consequently, the adjective "apocryphal" describes things like legends and anecdotes that are purported to be true by way of repeated tellings but that have never been proven or verified and therefore most likely are not factual. Both "apocrypha" and "apocryphal" derive via Latin from the Greek verb apokryptein, meaning "to hide away," from "kryptein" ("to hide").
Synonym Discussion of apocryphal
APOCRYPHAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of apocryphal for English Language Learners
: well-known but probably not true
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up apocryphal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).