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

Don't believe the urban legends about nerves possibly getting hit during a tragus piercing. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Everything You Want to Know About Tragus Piercings — Including How Much They Hurt," 13 Aug. 2018 The original Shirkers became something of an urban legend in the nascent Singaporean film community. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Sandi Tan’s Shirkers May Be the Year’s Most Compelling Grifter Story," 15 Oct. 2018 Thanks to Facebook, Twitter and email chains, urban legends and hoaxes are easier to spread now among gullible, oddly hopeful people. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "A collection of myths and urban legends about Houston," 22 Feb. 2018 Then, in the spring of 1963, Biondi was gone, fired after clashing with management over the number of commercials airing during his show (and not for telling a dirty joke on air, as urban legend would have it). Rick Kogan, chicagotribune.com, "She used to listen to Chicago radio's Dick Biondi under her pillow; now she's making a movie," 5 July 2018 Both share an affinity for Italian Greyhounds and Sasha would love to find out which of the many urban legends about the Empress of Russia are actually true (including that one about her possibly knowing about the plan to murder her husband, Peter). Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "Sasha Velour on Dressing Like Queer Royalty and How Youth Can Learn About LGBTQ History," 27 June 2018 Yet another Modern Family actor played a character being stalked by an urban legend that wanted to drown him. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, "17 Actors You Totally Forgot Guest-Starred On "R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour"," 14 Aug. 2017 The common urban legend is that a father killed his whole family and himself on Christmas Eve in the 1950s. Alex Hawgood, New York Times, "Grisly Murders and Serial Killers? Ooh, Tell Me More," 19 May 2018 Glycerol is a sweet liquid that has been used in antifreeze, giving rise to the urban legend that e-cigarettes contain antifreeze. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "The Promise of Vaping and the Rise of Juul," 7 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of urban legend

1968, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

26 Nov 2018

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The first known use of urban legend was in 1968

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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

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).


to gather or build up little by little

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