folk·​lore | \ˈfōk-ˌlȯr \

Definition of folklore 

1 : 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.

2 : a branch of knowledge that deals with folklore a specialist in folklore

3 : an often unsupported notion, story, or saying that is widely circulated the folklore about the health risks of computers

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Other Words from folklore

folkloric \ ˈfōk-​ˌlȯr-​ik \ adjective
folklorish \ ˈfōk-​ˌlȯr-​ish \ adjective
folklorist \ ˈfōk-​ˌlȯr-​ist \ noun
folkloristic \ ˌfōk-​ˌlȯr-​ˈi-​stik \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Nancy Deihl, director of the master’s program in costume studies at NYU, points me to European folklore. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "Why are “sexy” cats a thing?," 26 Oct. 2018 Expect lots of terrifying new creatures, some drawn from West Virginia's folklore. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Everything Bethesda revealed at E3: Fallout 76, Doom Eternal, Elder Scrolls VI, Starfield, more," 10 June 2018 In in an attempt to find a remedy for love troubles, the duo offers to light up a candle for the saints in a quasi-psychedelic video that evokes mysticism and folklore. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Viva Friday: All the Best New Latin Songs and Albums You Should Add to Your Playlist," 18 May 2018 They were brought in after the newborn was freshly cleaned and blanketed, almost perpetuating the stork folklore of a sweet-smelling cuddly baby dropped into waiting parents’ arms. Pat Lenhoff,, "Column: Father's Day and childhood memories," 11 June 2018 Google honors Egyptian ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ actor For Monday’s creative gnome game, Google doodle artist Gerben Steenks considered Germany’s long history in wood carving, folklore, village architecture and gardens. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "What is Garden Day? Google pays ode to Germany’s Garden Day with interactive garden gnome game," 11 June 2018 There’s this whole underlying folklore that nobody talks about. Wallace Baine, San Francisco Chronicle, "Why did Old Hollywood celebs love Big Sur so much?," 31 May 2018 There’s a folklore that if the groundhog sees his shadow, there will be more winter weather. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, "D.C.’s groundhog makes his prediction — 6 more weeks of winter," 2 Feb. 2018 The winged wraith flew over the hacienda of Don Chico Vasquez, a man unimpressed by the folklore surrounding the lake. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Known Unknown: Tales of the Yucca Man," 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'folklore.' 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 folklore

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for folklore

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for folklore

The first known use of folklore was in 1846

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More Definitions for folklore



English Language Learners Definition of folklore

: traditional customs, beliefs, stories, and sayings

: ideas or stories that are not true but that many people have heard or read


folk·​lore | \ˈfōk-ˌlȯr \

Kids Definition of folklore

: traditional customs, beliefs, stories, and sayings

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