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 To be fair to the novelist and the filmmakers, the life, and to some extent the paintings, are the stuff of legend. John Banville, The New York Review of Books, "His Own Worst Enemy," 27 Apr. 2021 The lavish Florida estate of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal has bounced back into play after a deal fell through in February. Brenda Richardson, Forbes, "Shaquille O’Neal’s Florida Estate Is Back On The Market For $16.5 Million," 20 Apr. 2021 The end of the deal involves Vanessa Bryant, the widow of the Lakers legend, the Kobe Bryant estate and Nike, the sneaker giant based in Beaverton. oregonlive, "Explaining the end of Nike’s deal with Kobe Bryant’s estate," 20 Apr. 2021 And Trump's desire to exact revenge on anyone who dares to criticize him is the stuff of legend. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "What Liz Cheney has figured out about Donald Trump and 2024," 15 Apr. 2021 Actress, writer, and social media star Caitlin Reilly — daughter of the GH legend — will appear in the upcoming episode of the ABC soap honoring him, EW has confirmed. Jolie Lash, EW.com, "TikTok star Caitlin Reilly will help General Hospital pay tribute to her late father, John Reilly," 14 Apr. 2021 So, odds that the comedy legend has interacted with the Duchess of Sussex? Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, "Meghan once worked at fro-yo chain Humphrey Yogart. It’s still open in Sherman Oaks," 10 Mar. 2021 But the former Lake Travis All-American’s practice exploits already have become the stuff of legend. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas' Steve Sarkisian 'pleased' with quarterbacks Casey Thompson, Hudson Card," 13 Apr. 2021 Mariah Carey’s department-store-scale dressing quarters the stuff of legend. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, "How the Closet Became a Personal Boutique," 8 Apr. 2021

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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Statistics for legend

Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Legend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legend. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for legend



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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