Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near apocryphal

Cite this Entry

“Apocryphal.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/apocryphal. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on apocryphal

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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