myth·​i·​cal ˈmi-thi-kəl How to pronounce mythical (audio)
variants or mythic
: based on or described in a myth especially as contrasted with history
usually mythical : existing only in the imagination : fictitious, imaginary
constructed a mythical all-star team
usually mythic : having qualities suitable to myth : legendary
the twilight of a mythic professional career Clayton Riley
mythically adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for mythical

fictitious, fabulous, legendary, mythical, apocryphal mean having the nature of something imagined or invented.

fictitious implies fabrication and suggests artificiality or contrivance more than deliberate falsification or deception.

fictitious characters

fabulous stresses the marvelous or incredible character of something without necessarily implying impossibility or actual nonexistence.

a land of fabulous riches

legendary suggests the elaboration of invented details and distortion of historical facts produced by popular tradition.

the legendary exploits of Davy Crockett

mythical implies a purely fanciful explanation of facts or the creation of beings and events out of the imagination.

mythical creatures

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

Example Sentences

Hercules was a mythical hero who was half man and half god. gods fighting in a mythical battle in the sky The sportswriters picked a mythical all-star team. The benefits of the new policy proved to be mythical.
Recent Examples on the Web The original Ariel defended Bailey in the wake of criticism that a Black actress had been unrealistically cast in the role of a mythical sea creature. Jessica Wang,, 12 Sep. 2022 That is unless your body-mod shopping list includes transforming yourself into a mythical creature. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 16 Aug. 2022 The dial incorporates gold engravings of the man who made the ascent, Jacques Balmat, along with something called a wyvern, the mythical monster that was believed to have lived on Mont Blanc’s Mer de Glace glacier. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 8 June 2022 Today, this mythical monster is widely believed to be embodied in Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose war on Ukraine continues in its sixth week. Angie Leventis Lourgos,, 9 Apr. 2022 That conversation might have begun when a guard alone in the galleries was riveted by a 19th century painting of a familiar street corner, or a door knocker resembling the mythical monster Medusa. Mary Carole Mccauley, Baltimore Sun, 24 Mar. 2022 In his doctrine, Bisri was a mythical place, its grounds possessing an energy that could rejuvenate the soul of his disciples. Los Angeles Times, 21 Feb. 2021 The soy candle will transport you to the mythical land, appeasing all of your senes en route. Mark Stock, Men's Health, 7 Sep. 2022 New York is seen as an almost mythical place, where the narrator never actually goes. Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker, 15 Aug. 2022 See More

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

Word History


mythical, from Late Latin mȳthicus "of myth, legendary" (borrowed from Greek mȳthikós, from mŷthos "utterance, tale, myth" + -ikos -ic entry 1) + -al entry 1; mythic, borrowed from Late Latin mȳthicus

First Known Use

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of mythical was in 1610

Dictionary Entries Near mythical

Cite this Entry

“Mythical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



myth·​i·​cal ˈmith-i-kəl How to pronounce mythical (audio)
variants or mythic
: based on, described in, or being a myth
Hercules is a mythical hero
: existing only in the imagination : imaginary
the author created a mythical town
mythically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on mythical

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.