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

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 But two years later Trnka ventured outside his comfort zone of fantasy and folklore to adapt a more iconoclastic story: Jaroslav Hašek's satirical antiwar novel The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk During the World War. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "Animator Jiří Trnka created magical worlds amid stifling communist censorship," 31 May 2018 Ignashevich atoned for his earlier error by slotting one home, before goalkeeper and captain Igor Akinfeev wrote his name into national sporting folklore. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Whatever happens, Vladimir Putin is winning the World Cup," 1 July 2018 If that was not enough to write Los Cafeteros' man into the sport's folklore, however, his 41 goals throughout his career probably is., "6 Moments of Madness These Players Will Never Forget," 11 June 2018 The tale, lauding the First Lady’s quick thinking in a moment of crisis, eventually found its way into American folklore through schoolbooks, monographs, and artwork. Deneen L. Brown, Washington Post, "Canada didn’t burn the White House. And Dolley Madison needs a fact check, too.," 7 June 2018 Of note, the Queqiao spacecraft—which means Magpie bridge and is a reference to Chinese folklore—will also carry two scientific instruments. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "China takes a critical first step toward landing on the far side of the Moon," 21 May 2018 According to Japanese folklore, the ghosts of those who have committed suicide wander in limbo in the forest, and those who enter are at risk of never coming out. Motoko Rich, New York Times, "Long Before Video, Japanese Fought Suicide in the ‘Sea of Trees’," 5 Jan. 2018 Bagpipes droned as writers like Burns and Sir Walter Scott celebrated ancient traditions, turning the poverty and feuding of Highlands history into romantic folklore. Paul Hoggart, Newsweek, "If Scotland Breaks Free, Queen Elizabeth Could Speak for Two Countries at Once," 31 Aug. 2014

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

9 Oct 2018

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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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