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 This moving film offers archived footage of the late Winehouse and interviews from those close to her that paint a beautiful portrait of a legend gone too soon. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "7 Music Documentaries to Watch After You Finish Taylor Swift: Miss Americana," 31 Jan. 2020 American Contemporary Ballet presents recreations of classic dance routines by the movie legend, set to songs by Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Johnny Mercer. Los Angeles Times, "Dance in L.A. this week: Ballet West’s ‘Giselle’ and more," 31 Jan. 2020 The National Basketball Association announced that the Los Angeles Lakers's first game following the death of league legend Kobe Bryant would be postponed. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "NBA postpones first Lakers game after Kobe Bryant’s death," 27 Jan. 2020 Until the trial’s opening, the day before, the milk had been the stuff of congressional legend. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Adam Schiff’s Moment," 23 Jan. 2020 The legend, though, must have seemed real enough to the Spanish explorer of Brazil Francisco de Orellana, who sailed down the river in 1540 and was attacked by the indigenous Tapuya people. Christopher Benfey, The New York Review of Books, "The Year of the Amazon?," 22 Jan. 2020 Appropriation of a legend The suppression of the Templars meant that there was nobody to safeguard their legacy. Patrick Masters, Quartz, "The true history of the conspiracy theories about the Knights Templar," 30 Dec. 2019 Trump wrote to me when the story appeared), but this encounter ranked near the top as a blend of raucous entertainment and an up-close view of an authentic legend. Rachel Schallom, Fortune, "Fortune’s Most Memorable Interviews This Decade," 3 Dec. 2019 Lenny Kravitz With a career spanning more than a few decades, rocker Lenny Kravitz is a certified legend. Ashley Mcdonough, Essence, "These 10 Celebrities Are Earning Big, While Side-Hustling Like The Rest Of Us," 26 Nov. 2019

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

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Legend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legend?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=l&file=legend01. Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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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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