leg·​end | \ ˈle-jənd How to pronounce legend (audio) \

Definition of legend

1a : a story coming down from the past especially : one popularly regarded as historical although not verifiable the legend of a lost continent Arthurian legends
b : a body of such stories a place in the legend of the frontier
c : a popular myth of recent origin the legend of the Loch Ness monster
d : a person or thing that inspires legends a baseball legend
e : the subject of a legend its violence was legend even in its own time— William Broyles Jr.
2a : an inscription or title on an object (such as a coin) The quarter bore the legend "In God We Trust".
b : caption sense 2b The legend identifies the various parts of the illustrated anatomy.
c : an explanatory list of the symbols on a map or chart

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Synonyms for legend


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Examples of legend in a Sentence

I don't believe the legends I've heard about this forest. the legend of a lost continent He has become a baseball legend. The gravestone bears the legend “Rest in Peace.”
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Recent Examples on the Web The memorial was unveiled in 2010 on the Cambridge Common, where legend holds that George Washington took command of the Continental Army and may have encountered Hall. David A. Taylor, Smithsonian Magazine, "Black Soldiers Played an Undeniable but Largely Unheralded Role in Founding the United States," 25 Feb. 2021 Before coming to town, Roth talked to the Star Tribune about his love for his former Van Halen bandmates, particularly guitar legend Eddie Van Halen, who would die eight months later from cancer. Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune, "Minnesota's last big arena concert was one year ago today," 24 Feb. 2021 Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson and former president Barack Obama were among those sending good vibes to golf legend Tiger Woods after his horrific early morning roll-over car accident on Tuesday (Feb. 23). Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Kevin Jonas Wish Tiger Woods Well After Horrific Car Crash," 24 Feb. 2021 Her sentiment came just hours after the world learned that golf legend Woods had been injured in a single vehicle roll-over just earlier that morning. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Lindsey Vonn Says She's Praying for Ex Tiger Woods After Car Crash," 23 Feb. 2021 Writing in the Washington Post in 2019, tennis legend and activist Martina Navratilova asked Congress to exempt athletic competitions. Inez F. Stepman, WSJ, "The Equality Act Makes Women Unequal," 23 Feb. 2021 Johnson was 15 at the time and took the checkered flag just ahead of off-road legend and neighbor Ivan Stewart. Bill Center, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego Stadium farewell: Racing events important to history," 23 Feb. 2021 For her transformation into jazz legend Billie Holiday, Andra Day threw out the rule book. David Canfield, EW.com, "Becoming Billie: How Andra Day found the soul (and voice) of Lady Day," 23 Feb. 2021 The Jacobean Revival-style architecture was designed by Charles Berry, while the gardens were the creations of landscaping legend Capability Brown. Mary Elizabeth Andriotis, House Beautiful, "The Most Iconic Castles in Pop Culture History," 23 Feb. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for legend

Middle English legende, from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French legende, from Medieval Latin legenda, from Latin, feminine of legendus, gerundive of legere to gather, select, read; akin to Greek legein to gather, say, logos speech, word, reason

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Time Traveler for legend

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The first known use of legend was in the 14th century

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Statistics for legend

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Legend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legend. Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for legend



English Language Learners Definition of legend

: a story from the past that is believed by many people but cannot be proved to be true
: a famous or important person who is known for doing something extremely well
: a list that explains the symbols on a map


leg·​end | \ ˈle-jənd How to pronounce legend (audio) \

Kids Definition of legend

1 : an old story that is widely believed but cannot be proved to be true
2 : a person or thing that is very famous for having special qualities or abilities a baseball legend
3 : a list of symbols used (as on a map)

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