folk·​lore ˈfōk-ˌlȯr How to pronounce folklore (audio)
: traditional customs, tales, sayings, dances, or art forms preserved among a people
The coyote appears in much of Native American folklore.
Paul Bunyan is a figure from folklore.
: a branch of knowledge that deals with folklore
a specialist in folklore
: an often unsupported notion, story, or saying that is widely circulated
the folklore about the health risks of computers
folkloric adjective
folklorish adjective
folklorist noun
folkloristic adjective

Example Sentences

The coyote appears in a great deal of Native American folklore. the rich folklore of Louisiana He can't tell the difference between fact and folklore.
Recent Examples on the Web In Arabic folklore, a ghoul is an evil spirit that robs graves and feeds on corpses. Erik Kain, Forbes, 6 May 2023 And while this is based in colonial folklore, not science, what is scientifically amazing is how the woolly bear caterpillar is able to survive winter. Kate Furby, Scientific American, 3 Mar. 2023 Such fairground folklore is tied to local date palms, which originated in the Middle East and North Africa. Sarah Matusek, The Christian Science Monitor, 28 Feb. 2023 In Asian folklore, a white rabbit is said to live on the moon. Marcia Dunn, ajc, 11 Dec. 2022 Krampus is coming: In German folklore, Krampus is a horned, devil-like creature who travels with Santa Claus. Chris Richards, Washington Post, 8 Dec. 2022 Yes, technically Krampus is rooted in Central European folklore about a horned demon who punishes bad behavior, but the family dysfunction and general disdain for those one is related to? Deanna Janes, Harper's BAZAAR, 28 Nov. 2022 These small primates are often killed due to their representation in folklore as omens of death, according to IFL Science’s Rachael Funnell. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Oct. 2022 Taylor won her third Album of the Year award for folklore, and Joe won his first Grammy. Women's Health, 10 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of folklore was in 1846

Dictionary Entries Near folklore

Cite this Entry

“Folklore.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


folk·​lore ˈfōk-ˌlō(ə)r How to pronounce folklore (audio)
: customs, beliefs, stories, and sayings of a people handed down from generation to generation
-ˌlōr-əst How to pronounce folklore (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on folklore

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