folk·​tale ˈfōk-ˌtāl How to pronounce folktale (audio)
: a characteristically anonymous, timeless, and placeless tale circulated orally among a people

Examples of folktale in a Sentence

West African folktales that continue to be passed from generation to generation through storytelling.
Recent Examples on the Web UFOs have been part of the state's folktales for a long time, with some of the most infamous ones making headlines and video highlights across the nation. Laura Daniella Sepulveda, The Arizona Republic, 17 Feb. 2024 Silvia is entranced by the stories of her aunt Ena, who offers folktales of her home and their past, one that her mother has kept swathed in secrecy. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 19 Mar. 2024 Norse words were integrated into the English language, Danes became common villains in British folktales and Scandinavian descendants took root across the country. Sonja Anderson, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Mar. 2024 In our storytelling structure — look at our folktales and the way my grandma would tell it — one little story can take hours to tell. Thinus Ferreira, Variety, 28 Feb. 2024 Like the soup in the folktale, this recipe can be made with whatever bounty of vegetables comes your way. Ben Fogel, Sunset Magazine, 16 Feb. 2024 Failing to create a great moral tale (or even an investigation into myths and folktales as in David Lowery’s The Green Knight), Reiner pitches his own self-satisfied obnoxiousness. Armond White, National Review, 7 Feb. 2024 And just in the past year alone, the community has celebrated a new grocery market, shared folktales in one of the nation’s first professional Karen theatrical productions, and now, added a restaurant serving traditional Karen and Burmese foods. Jared Kaufman, Twin Cities, 11 Jan. 2024 Winfrey has gone way past Walker’s sisterhood folktale of Celie. Armond White, National Review, 3 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'folktale.' 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

1850, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of folktale was in 1850

Dictionary Entries Near folktale

Cite this Entry

“Folktale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


folk·​tale -ˌtāl How to pronounce folktale (audio)
: a story made up and handed down by the common people

More from Merriam-Webster on folktale

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