folk·​lore ˈfōk-ˌlȯr How to pronounce folklore (audio)
: traditional customs, tales, sayings, dances, or art forms preserved among a people
The coyote appears in much of Native American folklore.
Paul Bunyan is a figure from folklore.
: a branch of knowledge that deals with folklore
a specialist in folklore
: an often unsupported notion, story, or saying that is widely circulated
the folklore about the health risks of computers
folkloric adjective
folklorish adjective
folklorist noun
folkloristic adjective

Examples of folklore in a Sentence

The coyote appears in a great deal of Native American folklore. the rich folklore of Louisiana He can't tell the difference between fact and folklore.
Recent Examples on the Web Melissa McCarthy plays the title role, following the Robin Williams tradition of genies seeming more like moonlighting Borscht Belt comedians than magical figures of Arabian folklore. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Nov. 2023 Active Time: 25 mins Total Time: 9 hrs Servings: 8 Native Virginian and 10th President John Tyler's official claim to fame is annexing the Republic of Texas into the United States in 1845, but culinary folklore holds him in equally high esteem for his cream-rich custard pie, a family recipe. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 22 Nov. 2023 Leopards, tigers and wolves are frequent antagonists in regional folklore. Athena Aktipis, Scientific American, 1 Nov. 2023 This fascinating holiday tradition is derived from the story of Krampus, a popular character from Eastern and Central European folklore. Sucheta Rawal, Travel + Leisure, 29 Oct. 2023 The film aims to blend both Filipino folklore based supernatural horror with the experiences of the Filipino diaspora in Italy. Patrick Frater, Variety, 7 Oct. 2023 In Roman folklore, salamanders are fabled to be able to walk through fire and come out alive. Ruth Umoh, Fortune, 20 Sep. 2023 In the past few years, accounts of San Francisco’s unravelling—less like a tired sweater than a ball of yarn caught in a boat propeller—have spread with the authority of gossip or folklore. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, 16 Oct. 2023 Anecdotes and family folklore guide our journey from there to the tall red-bricked Stone Street Baptist church, built in 1806, to Mobile County Training School, the starting point for all community members in the mid 20th century. Natalie Preddie, Travel + Leisure, 10 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of folklore was in 1846

Dictionary Entries Near folklore

Cite this Entry

“Folklore.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


folk·​lore ˈfōk-ˌlō(ə)r How to pronounce folklore (audio)
: customs, beliefs, stories, and sayings of a people handed down from generation to generation
-ˌlōr-əst How to pronounce folklore (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on folklore

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