• IPA: /ˈlɛdʒ.ənd/


  1. An unrealistic story depicting past events.
    1. A story of unknown origin describing plausible but extraordinary past events.
      The legend of Troy was discovered to have a historical basis.
    2. A plausible story set in the historical past, but whose historicity is uncertain.
      the legend of Robin Hood
    3. A story in which a kernel of truth is embellish to an unlikely degree.
      The 1984 Rose Bowl prank has spawned many legends. Here's the real story.
    4. A fabricated backstory for a spy, with associated documents and records; a cover story.
      According to his legend, he once worked for the Red Cross, spreading humanitarian aid in Africa.
      • 1992, Ronald Kessler, Inside the CIA, 1994 Pocket Books edition, ISBN 067173458X, page 115:
        If the documents are needed to establish "a light legend," meaning a superficial cover story, no steps are taken to make sure that if someone calls the college or motor vehicle department, the name on the document will be registered.
      • 2003, Rodney Carlisle, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Spies and Espionage, Alpha Books, ISBN 0028644182, page 105:
        Sorge solidified his own position by returning to Germany and developing a new legend. He joined the Nazi Party […] .
      • 2005, Curtis Peebles, Twilight Warriors, Naval Institute Press, ISBN 1591146607, page 25:
        Both the agent's legend and documents were intended to stand up against casual questions from Soviet citizens, such as during a job interview, or a routine police document check, such as were made at railway stations.
  2. A person related to a legend or legends.
    1. A leading protagonist in a historical legend.
      Achilles is a legend in Greek culture.
    2. A person with legend-like qualities, such as extraordinary accomplishment.
      Michael Jordan stands as a legend in basketball.
      1. (UK, Irish, Australia, New Zealand, colloquial, slang) A cool, nice or helpful person, especially one who is male.
        I've lost my pen! —Here mate, borrow mine. —You legend.
  3. A key to the symbols and color codes on a map, chart, etc.
    According to the legend on the map, that building is a school.
  4. An inscription, motto, or title, especially one surrounding the field in a medal or coin, or placed upon a heraldic shield or beneath an engraving or illustration.
  5. A musical composition set to a poetical story.
  • (story of unknown origin) myth
  • (story embellished to become implausible) myth, tall tale
  • (leading protagonist) hero
  • (person of extraordinary accomplishment) hero
  • (key to symbols on a map or chart) guide, key
  • (text on a coin) inscription
  • (fabricated backstory for a spy) cover, cover story
  • (worthy friend) brick
Related terms Translations Translations Translations Verb

legend (legends, present participle legending; past and past participle legended)

  1. (archaic, transitive) To tell or narrate; to recount.

Proper noun
  1. A male given name

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