Thesaurus

apocryphal

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of apocryphal

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About apocryphal

How is the word apocryphal distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of apocryphal are fabulous, fictitious, legendary, and mythical. While all these words mean "having the nature of something imagined or invented," 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

When is fabulous a more appropriate choice than apocryphal?

In some situations, the words fabulous and apocryphal are roughly equivalent. However, fabulous stresses the marvelous or incredible character of something without necessarily implying impossibility or actual nonexistence.

a land of fabulous riches

When can fictitious be used instead of apocryphal?

The synonyms fictitious and apocryphal are sometimes interchangeable, but fictitious implies fabrication and suggests artificiality or contrivance more than deliberate falsification or deception.

fictitious characters

Where would legendary be a reasonable alternative to apocryphal?

The words legendary and apocryphal are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, legendary suggests the elaboration of invented details and distortion of historical facts produced by popular tradition.

the legendary exploits of Davy Crockett

In what contexts can mythical take the place of apocryphal?

The meanings of mythical and apocryphal largely overlap; however, mythical implies a purely fanciful explanation of facts or the creation of beings and events out of the imagination.

mythical creatures

Learn More About apocryphal

Time Traveler for apocryphal

Time Traveler

The first known use of apocryphal was in 1583

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About apocryphal

Thesaurus Entries Near apocryphal

apocalyptic

apocryphal

apogean

See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Apocryphal.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/apocryphal. Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on apocryphal

Nglish: Translation of apocryphal for Spanish Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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