- mythe (rare or archaic)
From Ancient Greek μῦθος (mûthos, “word, humour, companion, speech, account, rumour, fable”). Attested in English since 1830. Doublet of mythos.
myth (plural myths)
- A traditional story which embodies a belief regarding some fact or phenomenon of experience, and in which often the forces of nature and of the soul are personified; a sacred narrative regarding a god, a hero, the origin of the world or of a people, etc.
- 1981, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture, London: Rider/Hutchinson & Co., page 175:
- Jacobsen's theory about the empty storehouse is still valid, for a myth never has one meaning only; a myth is a polyphonic fugue of many voices.
- (uncountable) Such stories as a genre.
- Myth was the product of man's emotion and imagination, acted upon by his surroundings. (E. Clodd, Myths & Dreams (1885), 7, cited after OED)
- A commonly-held but false belief, a common misconception; a fictitious or imaginary person or thing; a popular conception about a real person or event which exaggerates or idealizes reality.
- Synonym: misconception
- 2016, Tim Carvell; Josh Gondelman; Dan Gurewitch; Jeff Maurer; Ben Silva; Will Tracy; Jill Twiss; Seena Vali; Julie Weiner, “Opiods”, in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, season 3, episode 27, HBO, Warner Bros. Television:
- Okay, okay, okay… First, of course, babies feel pain. How the fuck did we ever think otherwise⁉ But more importantly, the fact that painkillers are addictive was not a myth. It’s like a book of Greek mythology featuring the stories of Zeus, Sisyphus, Oedipus and Yanni. Come on! That last one is very real and it cannot be dismissed.
- Scientists debunk the myth that gum stays in the human stomach for seven years.
- A person or thing held in excessive or quasi-religious awe or admiration based on popular legend
- Father Flanagan was legendary, his institution an American myth. (Tucson (Arizona) Citizen, 20 September 1979, 5A/3, cited after OED)
- A person or thing existing only in imagination, or whose actual existence is not verifiable.
- 1849, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, The Caxtons:
- As for Mrs. Primmins's bones, they had been myths these twenty years.
- 2010, BioWare, Mass Effect 2 (Science Fiction), Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →OCLC, PC, scene: Collectors Codex entry:
- Living beyond the Omega-4 mass relay in the Terminus Systems, the mysterious Collector species is glimpsed so rarely as to be taken for a myth by most in galactic society. In reality, Collectors are human-sized insectoid bipeds and can resemble massive winged beetles. They are a terrifying force in the galaxy, responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands.
- An invented story, theory, or concept.
- His story is a pure myth.
such stories as genre
commonly-held but false belief
person or thing existing only in imagination
- “myth”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- “myth”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
- "myth" in Raymond Williams, Keywords (revised), 1983, Fontana Press, page 210.
- (North Wales) IPA(key): /mɨːθ/
- (South Wales) IPA(key): /miːθ/
- Nasal mutation of byth.
|Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.|