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 Unfortunately, Hood’s Swampers/Muscle Shoals Sound partner, guitarist Jimmy Johnson, who played on classic recordings by legends like Aretha Franklin, died this year. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "Here are Alabama’s Entertainers of the Year," 31 Dec. 2019 Generations of car lovers — not to mention GM engineers and executives — came and went waiting for Chevrolet to take the plunge and convert America’s greatest sports car to the mid-engine layout used by the world’s legends. Mark Phelan, Freep.com, "Free Press Car of the Year: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette delivers on decades of promises," 29 Dec. 2019 The rankings are only part of the story Stoops comments about Fry came on signing day, which led to the natural question what was being recruiting by the coaching legend like? Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Iowa football legend Hayden Fry 'meant the world' to UK's Mark Stoops and his brothers," 19 Dec. 2019 He was mentored by puppeteering legend Jim Henson and the two remained longtime friends until Henson's death in 1990. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "'Sesame Street' icon Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer behind Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, dies at 85," 9 Dec. 2019 Across the street from the new Rubell Museum in Allapattah, the venue was lined with a rainbow of old-school American cars and inside, the neon green runway was saturated in graffiti-style logos designed by streetwear legend Shawn Stussy. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "At the Dior Men's Show, Airbrushed “Cyber-Surfer” Eye Makeup Lit Up the Runway," 4 Dec. 2019 Generally speaking, the genre draws from a canon by country legends including Merle Haggard and Buck Owens — more tilted, perhaps, to the Southwest than Nashville — sometimes blending Diné phrases into the songs. BostonGlobe.com, "Clad in Wrangler jeans and cowboy boots, they danced under the dim lights to bands playing outlaw country classics by singers such as Waylon Jennings. Between songs, couples murmured sweet nothings to each other in English and Diné Bizaad, the Navajo language enduring in this part of the West.," 1 Dec. 2019 Generally speaking, the genre draws from a canon by country legends including Merle Haggard and Buck Owens — more tilted, perhaps, to the Southwest than Nashville — sometimes blending Diné phrases into the songs. Simon Romero, New York Times, "Navajo Country Music Pays Tribute to ‘Indian Cowboys’ and Outlaw Legends," 30 Nov. 2019 The Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois, which was designed by architectural legend Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, will be decorated for the holidays and open for tours Dec. 7-14 (closed Dec. 9). Phil Marty, chicagotribune.com, "Indianapolis Zoo lights up, historic homes open their doors and more Midwest events," 29 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

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

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Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Legend.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legends. Accessed 24 January 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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Comments on legend

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a feeling of well-being or elation

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