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 On his final day as Cleveland Cavaliers head coach, in the darkest moment of his illustrious career that spans four decades and could eventually earn him a spot in the pantheon of college basketball legends, John Beilein showed his true character. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "John Beilein leaves mark with emotional goodbye in Cavaliers’ film room following resignation Wednesday," 20 Feb. 2020 Twenty-seven days after officially becoming a U.S. citizen, rock legend Neil Young has penned an open letter to U.S. President Donald Trump. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "Read Neil Young’s open letter to Donald Trump," 20 Feb. 2020 Primus will pay homage to prog-rock legends Rush this summer with A Tribute to Kings tour set to visit Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre June 26. Brendel Hightower, Detroit Free Press, "Primus announces A Tribute To Kings Tour dates with a metro Detroit stop," 18 Feb. 2020 Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley -- flanked by football legends Jim Brown and Jerry Rice -- announced to reporters earlier Tuesday that the president had signed an executive order pardoning DeBartolo. Aaron Katersky, ABC News, "Trump announces pardons for several high-profile individuals," 18 Feb. 2020 Even legends appreciate it when an athlete has a good time doing something so difficult. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "Fame may be Luka Doncic’s toughest foe, and how the Mavericks star handles it could define him," 18 Feb. 2020 Soccer legend David looked seriously excited about the show, and was photographed grinning at his two sons. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Victoria Beckham's Family Adorably Supports Her at London Fashion Week," 16 Feb. 2020 Rock legend Bon Jovi is selling his New Jersey mansion for a cool $20 million. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "Bon Jovi’s Riverfront New Jersey Estate Is on the Market for $20 Million," 14 Feb. 2020 Folks around the paddock, from fans to drivers, team owners, directors and racing legends shared their thoughts with IndyStar. Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, "What will be on Roger Penske's top 10 list for IMS, 2020 Indy 500?: 'When Penske Corp. does something, they do it right'," 13 Feb. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for legend

Last Updated

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Legend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legend. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for legend


How to pronounce legend (audio)

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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