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Definitions of Myth

  1. (noun) A story describing a worldview or the origin of natural, cultural, or social phenomena typically involving historical events, morality lessons, and supernatural beings.
  2. (noun) A false belief or half-truth that intentionally or unintentionally perpetuates norms or misinformation.

Examples of Myth

  • Definition 1:
    • Creation myths.
  • Definition 2:
    • According to some scholars: meritocracy
    • Shaving makes a beard grow faster

Myth Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: myth

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /mith/
  • British English – /mith/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /mɪθ/
  • British English – /mɪθ/

Usage Note

  • Plural: myths

Related Quotation

  • “[A]lthough true equality of opportunity is probably not possible, the myth of meritocracy in America is itself harmful because its legitimation of inequalities of power and privilege rests on claims that are demonstrably false” (McNamee and Miller 2013:19).

Related Video

Additional Information

Related Terms


McNamee, Stephen J., and Robert K. Miller, Jr. 2013. The Meritocracy Myth. 3rd ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Cite the Definition of Myth

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “myth.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved March 4, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/myth/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

myth. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/myth/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “myth.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed March 4, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/myth/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“myth.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 4 Mar. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/myth/>.