From Late Latin apocryphus secret, not approved for public reading, from Greek apokryphos hidden, obscure, thus (books) of unknown authorship, from apo- away + kryptein to hide. Properly plural (the single would be apocryphon), but commonly treated as a collective singular. Apocryphal of doubtful authenticity is from 1590.
- Of, or pertaining to, the Apocrypha.
- Of doubtful authenticity, or lacking authority; not regarded as canonical.
- Many scholars consider the stories of the monk Teilo to be apocryphal.
- Of dubious veracity; of questionable accuracy or truthfulness; anecdotal or in the nature of an urban legend.
- There is an apocryphal tale of a little boy plugging the dike with his finger.
- 1749, John Cleland, Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure Part 3
- Charles, already dispos'd by the evidence of his senses to think my pretences to virginity not entirely apocryphal, smothers me with kisses, begs me, in the name of love, to have a little patience, and that he will be as tender of hurting me as he would be of himself.