legend

noun

leg·​end ˈle-jənd How to pronounce legend (audio)
1
a
: a story coming down from the past
especially : one popularly regarded as historical although not verifiable
the legend of a lost continent
Arthurian legends
b
: a body of such stories
a place in the legend of the frontier
c
: a popular myth of recent origin
the legend of the Loch Ness monster
d
: a person or thing that inspires legends
a baseball legend
e
: the subject of a legend
its violence was legend even in its own time William Broyles Jr.
2
a
: an inscription or title on an object (such as a coin)
The quarter bore the legend "In God We Trust".
b
: caption sense 2b
The legend identifies the various parts of the illustrated anatomy.
c
: an explanatory list of the symbols on a map or chart

Example Sentences

I don't believe the legends I've heard about this forest. the legend of a lost continent He has become a baseball legend. The gravestone bears the legend “Rest in Peace.”
Recent Examples on the Web Many will instantly spot other celebrities like Mario Lopez, Maria Menounos and even music legend Patti LaBelle. Adrianna Freedman, Good Housekeeping, 29 Nov. 2022 The designs matched the bold and tender spirit of the day, all documented by legend Estevan Oriol. Estevan Oriol, Los Angeles Times, 29 Nov. 2022 The extended Senate campaign in Georgia between Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger, football legend Herschel Walker, has grown increasingly bitter as their Dec. 6 runoff nears. Nicole Fallert, USA TODAY, 28 Nov. 2022 Musical legend Bruce Springsteen sits down with Howard Stern to chat about his professional and personal journeys. Olivia Mccormack, Washington Post, 27 Nov. 2022 The extended Senate campaign in Georgia between the Democratic incumbent, Raphael Warnock, and his Republican challenger, football legend Herschel Walker, has grown increasingly bitter as their Dec. 6 runoff nears. Bill Barrow, Anchorage Daily News, 27 Nov. 2022 The extended Senate campaign in Georgia between the Democratic incumbent, Raphael Warnock, and his Republican challenger, football legend Herschel Walker, has grown increasingly bitter as their Dec. 6 runoff nears. Bill Barrow, Chicago Tribune, 27 Nov. 2022 Natalia Bryant, the daughter of the late basketball legend Kobe Bryant, is seeking a restraining order against an alleged stalker, NBC News reports. Melissa Noel, Essence, 24 Nov. 2022 Cleveland reggae legend takes the stage with The P.L.U.S Band. Mike Rose, cleveland, 23 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English legende, from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French legende, from Medieval Latin legenda, from Latin, feminine of legendus, gerundive of legere to gather, select, read; akin to Greek legein to gather, say, logos speech, word, reason

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of legend was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near legend

Cite this Entry

“Legend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legend. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

legend

noun

leg·​end ˈlej-ənd How to pronounce legend (audio)
1
: a story coming down from the past whose truth is popularly accepted but cannot be checked
2
a
: writing or a title on an object
c
: an explanatory list of the symbols on a map or chart

More from Merriam-Webster on legend

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