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First attested as Middle English in 1412. From Middle French mythologie, from Latin mythologia, from Ancient Greek μυθολογία (muthología, legend) μυθολογέω (muthologéō, I tell tales), from μυθολόγος (muthológos, legend), from μῦθος (mûthos, story) +‎ λέγω (légō, I say).

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Noun edit

mythology (countable and uncountable, plural mythologies)

  1. (countable and uncountable) The collection of myths of a people, concerning the origin of the people, history, deities, ancestors and heroes.
    • 2013 June 8, “Obama goes troll-hunting”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 55:
      The solitary, lumbering trolls of Scandinavian mythology would sometimes be turned to stone by exposure to sunlight. Barack Obama is hoping that several measures announced on June 4th will have a similarly paralysing effect on their modern incarnation, the patent troll.
  2. (countable and uncountable) A similar body of myths concerning an event, person or institution.
    • 2003, Peter Utgaard, Remembering & Forgetting Nazism: Education, National Identity, and the Victim Myth in Postwar Austria[1], Berghahn Books, →ISBN, page x:
      This program to distinguish Austria from Germany was important to building a new Austria, but it also indirectly contributed to victim mythology by implying that participation in the Nazi war of conquest was antithetical to Austrian identity.
  3. (countable and uncountable) Pervasive elements of a fictional universe that resemble a mythological universe.
    • 2000 April 28, Caryn James (?), As Scheherazade Was Saying . . ., in The New York Times, page E31, reproduced in The New York Times Television Reviews 2000, Routledge (2001), →ISBN, page 198:
      This tongue-in-cheek episode is especially fun for people who don’t take their “X-Files” mythology seriously.
  4. The set of misconceptions and false attitudes that are held about something and contribute to its perception.
    • 1981 April 4, Donald Vining, “Straight Talk”, in Gay Community News, page 5:
      Straight people who do not know, or do not know that they know, any gays, can accept all the mythology about us that is paramount in the propaganda of our enemies.
  5. (uncountable) The systematic collection and study of myths.

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