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

Example Sentences

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.”
Recent Examples on the Web And thus, a fictional rock ’n’ roll legend is born. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 1 Mar. 2023 At 23 years old, Fox became a local legend after surviving a ferocious great white shark attack during a spearfishing competition in 1963. Justin Meneguzzi, Travel + Leisure, 28 Feb. 2023 Burny Mattinson, a legend of Walt Disney Animation and the studio's longest-serving employee, died Monday at the Canyon Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Canoga Park, Calif. after a short illness. Nick Romano, EW.com, 28 Feb. 2023 The industry buzz and consensus couldn't have been more unanimous: Chris Hannah, long a legend among bartenders, deserved this. Nathaniel Adams, Chron, 27 Feb. 2023 Pastrnak learned how to be a pro from Krejci, now viewing him less as a home-country legend and more of a friend. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 20 Feb. 2023 Tennis legend Serena Williams and actor Michael B. Jordan collaborated in 2021 on a contest to award $1 million to an HBCU student with an outstanding business plan. Joyce E. Davis, USA TODAY, 19 Feb. 2023 The actress first purchased the abode for $3.25 million in 1997 while married to tennis legend Andre Agassi. People Staff, Peoplemag, 8 Feb. 2023 At the Met Gala in September 2021, the tennis legend wore the statement piece with a sparkly silver Gucci bodysuit embellished with stars. Carrie Wittmer, Glamour, 1 Feb. 2023 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near legend

Cite this Entry

“Legend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legend. Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


leg·​end ˈlej-ənd How to pronounce legend (audio)
: a story coming down from the past whose truth is popularly accepted but cannot be checked
: writing or a title on an object
: an explanatory list of the symbols on a map or chart

Middle English legende "a legend," derived from Latin legenda "something to be read," derived from earlier legere "to gather, read"

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