myth·​i·​cal ˈmi-thi-kəl How to pronounce mythical (audio)
variants or mythic
: based on or described in a myth especially as contrasted with history
usually mythical : existing only in the imagination : fictitious, imaginary
constructed a mythical all-star team
usually mythic : having qualities suitable to myth : legendary
the twilight of a mythic professional careerClayton Riley
mythically adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for mythical

fictitious, fabulous, legendary, mythical, apocryphal mean having the nature of something imagined or invented.

fictitious implies fabrication and suggests artificiality or contrivance more than deliberate falsification or deception.

fictitious characters

fabulous stresses the marvelous or incredible character of something without necessarily implying impossibility or actual nonexistence.

a land of fabulous riches

legendary suggests the elaboration of invented details and distortion of historical facts produced by popular tradition.

the legendary exploits of Davy Crockett

mythical implies a purely fanciful explanation of facts or the creation of beings and events out of the imagination.

mythical creatures

apocryphal implies an unknown or dubious source or origin or may imply that the thing itself is dubious or inaccurate.

a book that repeats many apocryphal stories

Examples of mythical in a Sentence

Hercules was a mythical hero who was half man and half god. gods fighting in a mythical battle in the sky The sportswriters picked a mythical all-star team. The benefits of the new policy proved to be mythical.
Recent Examples on the Web In Borgo’s lush, often oceanic pieces, trans masculine bodies are depicted as mythical and divine. Fiona Kerr Thomas Page McBee Ryan Haase Juan A. Ramírez Gage Daughdrill Jo Rodgers, New York Times, 30 Nov. 2023 According to folklore, gnomes are mythical creatures charged with guarding treasures of the earth. Sarah Lemire, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 Nov. 2023 From rapidly gaining the mythical character's trademark jolly belly to growing a snow-white beard and more, The Santa Clause is a hilarious take on a classic. Keith Langston, Peoplemag, 23 Nov. 2023 How a beautiful Indonesian island and a mythical demon taught me a valuable lesson about the duality of good and evil. Acacia Gabriel, Travel + Leisure, 26 Oct. 2023 In the trailer, Percy, Grover and Annabeth find their footing at Camp Half-Blood and fight mythical creatures along their quest. Jaden Thompson, Variety, 16 Nov. 2023 Thanks to the random sightings, fans have begun to liken Benjamin to a mythical creature — only making fleeting appearances and maintaining an air of mystery. Char Adams, NBC News, 15 Nov. 2023 The Los Angeles brand offers everything from mythical goddesses to real-life heroes, including the woman power necklace, which was inspired by the Venus symbol and a protesting fist. Lisa Boone, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2023 According to the Romans, these mythical mash-ups prowled the plains of Asia, where the world's most daring miners traveled to discover gold. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 30 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mythical.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


mythical, from Late Latin mȳthicus "of myth, legendary" (borrowed from Greek mȳthikós, from mŷthos "utterance, tale, myth" + -ikos -ic entry 1) + -al entry 1; mythic, borrowed from Late Latin mȳthicus

First Known Use

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of mythical was in 1610

Dictionary Entries Near mythical

Cite this Entry

“Mythical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


myth·​i·​cal ˈmith-i-kəl How to pronounce mythical (audio)
variants or mythic
: based on, described in, or being a myth
Hercules is a mythical hero
: existing only in the imagination : imaginary
the author created a mythical town
mythically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on mythical

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