urban legend


Definition of urban legend

: an often lurid story or anecdote that is based on hearsay and widely circulated as true the urban legend of alligators living in the sewers

called also urban myth

Examples of urban legend in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The urban legend in retailing is that membership warehouse clubs like Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s break even on selling goods but make all their money on annual membership dues. Warren Shoulberg, Forbes, "Best Buy, Urban Outfitters Latest To Discover Membership Has Its Privileges…And Its Profits Too," 9 Apr. 2021 The search takes him to, in no particular order: a cult, a group of kids spooked by an urban legend, a campground, and a mysterious hospital patient. Tres Dean, Vulture, "The Empty Man Is the Next Great Cult Horror Film," 6 Apr. 2021 There was also this inciting incident urban legend of a hold-up in Denver in the ’80s. John Benson, cleveland, "Veteran filmmaker and fan of The Smiths Stephen Kijak talks about new movie ‘Shoplifters of the World’," 25 Mar. 2021 How O’Neal worked as an FBI informant to infiltrate the Panthers and deceive Hampton, its Chicago leader, has become urban legend. Armond White, National Review, "Judas and the Black Messiah," 12 Feb. 2021 The chupacabra has been called the Bigfoot of Latino culture, an urban legend said to drain the blood of goats and other farm animals from South America to south Texas. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, "The chupacabra lives on in San Antonio's Latino lore, like our Bigfoot or Loch Ness Monster," 24 Feb. 2021 The film is built on the enduring urban legend that legions of college women are getting gang-raped on campus by men who suffer no repercussions whatsoever. Kyle Smith, National Review, "A Sad, Feminist Cry for Help," 27 Dec. 2020 The urban legend is that the song was recorded as a fundraiser to get a hippopotamus at a local zoo, but apparently that's not the reality. Abigail Rosenthal, Chron, "These 5 Christmas songs should be banned from the radio," 18 Nov. 2020 Business Insider investigated the phrase's origin in 2015 and concluded there was no evidence to support the urban legend. Devon Link, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Origin stories for popular phrases are nothing more than urban legends," 17 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'urban legend.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of urban legend

1968, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about urban legend

Time Traveler for urban legend

Time Traveler

The first known use of urban legend was in 1968

See more words from the same year

Statistics for urban legend

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Urban legend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/urban%20legend. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for urban legend

urban legend


English Language Learners Definition of urban legend

: a story about an unusual event or occurrence that many people believe is true but that is not true

More from Merriam-Webster on urban legend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for urban legend

Comments on urban legend

What made you want to look up urban legend? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!