Definition of mythology in English:



  • 1A collection of myths, especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition.

    ‘tales from Greek mythology’
    [count noun] ‘Jewish and Christian mythologies’
    • ‘I've always been interested in the ancient American mythologies of the Inca, Maya, and Aztec, and the ancient mythos of the Greeks and Egyptians.’
    • ‘Dragons are winged beings portrayed in the ancient mythologies of most cultures.’
    • ‘After breakfast he strolls through deserted lanes before retiring to his drawing room to read about archaeology, Greek mythology, and biographies.’
    • ‘These books are the primary source for our knowledge of the most ancient Indian mythology, forming the basis for the development of Hinduism.’
    • ‘The legend of the lost continent or island of Atlantis occurs in the mythologies of many parts of Europe.’
    • ‘In ancient Greek mythology, images of snakes are generally evil and scary, like the Hydra, a large snake with nine heads.’
    • ‘The history of ancient Greece and Greek mythology that I studied in high school and college all came alive for me on this trip.’
    • ‘Tonight she will consider the differing beliefs and customs relating to death practices from a selection of cultures and mythologies.’
    • ‘Pilgrims are treated to plays enacted from stories of Hindu mythology, featuring the well known adventures of gods and heroes.’
    • ‘Many mythologies seem to feature an apocalyptic or transformational event that will occur at the ‘end of history’.’
    • ‘For example, Artemis and Diana is the same goddess but are of two mythologies.’
    • ‘Sacrifice is a universal religious act, one closely associated with the mythologies of particular traditions.’
    • ‘There are numerous mythologies in which the God is sacrificed as grain or as vegetation in general to feed the people.’
    • ‘One of the best known of the Greek mythologies is the tale of Icarus.’
    • ‘We can see its beginnings in Greek mythology with the story of Prometheus.’
    • ‘Such views stem from the fact that some famous characters from Ancient Greek mythology have their origins in Thrace.’
    • ‘Now in many other mythologies you can find gods that have parallels with Athena.’
    • ‘Ancient mythologies preserved this knowledge in story form.’
    • ‘In the mythologies that have come down to us, many cultures express this as a sexual union.’
    • ‘The idea that the universe had a beginning is common to various religions and mythologies.’
    folklore, folk tales, folk stories, lore, tradition, stories, tales
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A set of stories or beliefs about a particular person, institution, or situation, especially when exaggerated or fictitious.
      ‘we look for change in our thirties, not in our forties, as popular mythology has it’
      • ‘The popular mythology that the most crowded countries cremate the most is not born out by the facts.’
      • ‘According to popular mythology, Mexicans don't do breakfast.’
      • ‘The stag is not ‘torn to pieces’, as popular mythology would have it.’
      • ‘In the popular liberal mythology, the ad disgustingly questioned Cleland's patriotism.’
      • ‘Others will assign stories based on them and the false mythology will continue.’
      • ‘Contrary to popular mythology, boys are just as anxious and confused about sex as the girls are.’
      • ‘Next week, another bit of popular mythology comes under our close examination.’
      • ‘Contrary to popular mythology, not every graduate of the Air Force Academy has a chance to become chief of staff of the Air Force.’
      • ‘In popular mythology, kids used to run away from home to do just that.’
      • ‘British trade union mythology is full of wonderfully stirring stories of doughty workers banding together to take on the government.’
      • ‘Thanks, Betty, for your stunning and original contribution to American popular mythology.’
      • ‘There is one other consideration that has led me to expose anti-nuclear mythology.’
      • ‘They provided indispensable services and became the subject of popular folklore and mythology.’
      • ‘It was, popular mythology tells us, one of the contributing factors to the American Revolution, and it might just lead to a revolution here.’
      • ‘You'd be pushed to find it in the popular mythology, though.’
      • ‘His execution in 1725 was to ensure his place in popular mythology.’
      • ‘According to popular mythology, this is how it happened.’
      • ‘The whips have the task of mobilizing their party's backbenchers: popular mythology ascribes to them powers beyond their reach.’
      • ‘Contrary to today's popular mythology about our past, slavery and exploitation were not taboo subjects then.’
      • ‘A beach, in the popular mythology, was a place of dissolution and wreckage and danger, a place only for the desperate and the scavanging poor.’
  • 2The study of myths.

    ‘this field includes archaeology, comparative mythology, and folklore’
    • ‘I'm not a specialist in ancient mythology but like most lovers of history I enjoy seeing the vast and great tales of the past brought to life.’
    • ‘Under his influence her interest in Irish folklore revived, and she began to study Irish mythology, taking her research into the field.’
    • ‘She had broad-ranging interests, having studied mythology and psychology, in which she gained a PhD.’
    • ‘History and mythology have a symbiotic relationship and they reinforce each other to a large extent.’
    • ‘They study mythology, gardening, cooking, foreign languages, history, botany and physics.’
    • ‘A perfect introduction to the history of mythology.’
    • ‘He devoted much attention to comparative mythology and the comparative study of religions.’
    • ‘Schools replaced mythology and history with the more amorphous social studies.’
    • ‘He had studied his mythology and knew how to construct an argument.’
    • ‘His articles on folklore, art, mythology and short stories for children have been widely published.’
    • ‘The student of mythology may find some of this story interesting.’
    • ‘The walkers will enjoy their trek through landscapes filled with history, archaeology and mythology.’
    • ‘European history, geography and mythology is central to it.’
    • ‘Baird who has studied mythology since she was a child equips every card with a musing short story on its back cover.’
    • ‘In general, he offers no support for the plausibility of his theory beyond an ingenious argument from comparative mythology.’
    • ‘In the intervening time Rothko stopped painting, devoting himself instead to the study of philosophy and mythology.’
    • ‘These stories reflect the children's ideas and interests and influences range from ancient mythology to television.’
    • ‘It drew upon history, mythology and living memory of the Second World War.’
    • ‘I think this same analogy applies very accurately not only to the study of mythology, but to a variety of other fields of thought.’
    • ‘For the past eight years, she has been teaching comparative mythology, a subject in which she has earned a doctorate.’


Late Middle English: from French mythologie, or via late Latin from Greek muthologia, from muthos myth + -logia (see -logy).