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 2b <The legend identifies the various parts of the illustrated anatomy.>c : an explanatory list of the symbols on a map or chart
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.”
Origin and Etymology of 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
First Known Use: 14th century
LEGEND Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of legend for English Language Learners
: 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
LEGEND Defined for Kids
Definition of legend for Students
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)
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up legend? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).