Definition of legend in English:


Line breaks: le¦gend
Pronunciation: /ˈlɛdʒ(ə)nd


  • 1A traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but not authenticated: the legend of King Arthur [mass noun]: according to legend he banished all the snakes from Ireland
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    • The legend of Tristan and Isolde, one of the most popular, was tacked on to Arthur's.
    • This was pretty much the starting point of the Arthurian legends with regard to the Holy Grail.
    • Whatever historical events underlie the legend of the Trojan War did not occur as depicted here.
    myth, saga, epic, folk tale, folk story, traditional story, tale, story, fairy tale, narrative, fable, romance; folklore, lore, mythology, fantasy, oral history, tradition, folk tradition, old wives' tales
    technical mythos, mythus
    informal yarn
  • 1.1 historical The story of a saint’s life: the mosaics illustrate the Legends of the Saints
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    • The legend of the notable Saint Anton is connected to plague victims and all diseases.
    • These local religious festivals usually center on a particular saint or legend.
    • One of legends concerning Saint George is the famous dragon story, with which he is invariably portrayed.
  • 3An inscription, especially on a coin or medal.
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    • The obverse of all denominations bore a harp, along with the legend Saorstat Eireann and the date the coin was struck.
    • Around the lower border is the same legend as on the gold coin.
    • The 200 baht coins have the same legend as the 100 baht coin.
    caption, inscription, dedication, motto, slogan, device, heading, head, title, wording, subtitle, subheading, rubric, colophon
  • 3.1A caption: a picture of a tiger with the legend ‘Go ahead make my day’
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    • Captions or legends must be submitted with all photographs, drawings, and tables.
    • By improving legends and headings, authors will entice readers to learn more of their story; ultimately, more, not less, text will be read.
  • 3.2The wording on a map or diagram explaining the symbols used: see legend to Fig. 1
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    • The abbreviations are explained in the inset legend to Figure 3.
    • Species are referred to by symbols in the legend.
    • All abbreviations are explained in the legend to Fig 1.
    explanation, key, code, cipher, table of symbols, guide, glossary


[predic.] Back to top  
  • Very well known: his speed and ferocity in attack were legend


Middle English (in the sense 'story of a saint's life'): from Old French legende, from medieval Latin legenda 'things to be read', from Latin legere 'read'. sense 1 of the noun dates from the early 17th century.

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