Definition of folklore in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed through the generations by word of mouth.

    • ‘Some jingles have entered the folklore of the nation.’
    • ‘The official figure was fifteen rebels dead, but later local folklore had it as high as seventy.’
    • ‘Such political implications in popular culture suggest a direction of considerable importance for feminism and for folklore studies.’
    • ‘The time is the 1920s, and Hurston the character is in town to collect local folklore.’
    • ‘The folklore corpus has been used by historians and anthropologists alike as a historical source.’
    • ‘Both have collected folklore from Bab for the past three decades.’
    • ‘Much of the international folklore scholarship in those years was conducted in German.’
    • ‘The brass band played traditional army marches as well as folklore motifs and jazz pieces.’
    • ‘So there's a lot of folklore surrounding the notion of flu shots making you sick.’
    • ‘Myth, folklore and inaccuracy cloud this event, yet it still has the potency to cause controversy.’
    • ‘Social investigators concentrated on the social problems of the south, whereas folklore collectors often focused on the north.’
    • ‘Her Artwork is informed by an interest in the folklore traditions associated with landscape.’
    • ‘Today, he is largely forgotten as a folklore collector and his publications are little known or read.’
    • ‘Ancient folklore has it that even Setanta was legless more than once.’
    • ‘The folklore festival and training camp for children is full of activities that connect them with the past.’
    • ‘A number of essays are especially relevant for folklore studies.’
    • ‘Anne has been collecting stories and information from old people for the folklore collection.’
    • ‘The first concerns social historians' attitudes towards the folklore corpus.’
    • ‘Here he encouraged students to collect folklore from their home communities and established an archive for the material.’
    • ‘I can save the researchers many years of time by passing on the folklore of the area.’
    mythology, lore, oral history, tradition, folk tradition
    legends, fables, myths, folk tales, folk stories, old wives' tales
    mythus, mythos
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A body of popular myths or beliefs relating to a particular place, activity, or group of people:
      ‘Hollywood folklore’
      • ‘Probably the most well-known twentieth-century trickster, Shine is an epic figure in African American folklore.’
      • ‘Devi's life story, which has revolved around caste conflicts, has entered Indian folklore.’
      • ‘Hurston's ethnography of African American folklore and folkways was published in 1935.’
      • ‘Her favourite Bulgarian band is D2, and she has an ear for the tunes of traditional Bulgarian folklore.’
      • ‘It was not widely supported when it began, but because of the way its leaders were treated, it has passed into Irish folklore.’
      • ‘With that one remarkable delivery Warne has carved his name in cricket folklore.’
      • ‘In Bulgarian folklore tradition, masked games serve as ritual blessings for good health, fertility and well-being.’
      • ‘Narratives in the Bible and Native American folklore are prime examples.’
      • ‘It consists of a systematic survey of the lake monster theme in the legends and popular folklore of Québec.’
      • ‘The scoreline shook the rugby world and gave Otley an indelible place in rugby union folklore.’
      • ‘They will also be claiming a place in football folklore.’
      • ‘There is no doubt had he been given the opportunity, he would have written himself into Australian cricket folklore.’
      • ‘In any case the cricket folklore among this cricket crazy populace stands to be enriched.’
      • ‘Expect plenty of Russian folklore and myth and a chance to sing Russian Christmas song Father First.’
      • ‘In American folklore, however, the same activity is associated with modern Greeks.’
      • ‘Two popular supernatural figures in Iraqi folklore are the Tanttel and the Su'luwwa.’
      • ‘Jewish folklore suggests it adds strength while fasting.’
      • ‘The album's tracks are a contemporary interpretation of Bulgarian folklore and Orthodox music.’
      • ‘Dazzling feats from the turbo-charged toes of Michael Owen have yielded many unforgettable moments in football folklore.’
      • ‘African folklore has extolled water in the highest esteem.’


Mid 19th century: from folk + lore.