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From Ancient Greek μῦθος (mûthos, word, humour, companion, speech, account, rumour, fable). Attested in English since 1830. Doublet of mythos.


  • enPR: mĭth, IPA(key): /mɪθ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪθ


myth (plural myths)

  1. A traditional story which embodies a belief regarding some fact or phenomenon of experience, and in which often the forces of nature and of the soul are personified; a sacred narrative regarding a god, a hero, the origin of the world or of a people, etc.
  2. (uncountable) Such stories as a genre.
    Myth was the product of man's emotion and imagination, acted upon by his surroundings. (E. Clodd, Myths & Dreams (1885), 7, cited after OED)
  3. A commonly-held but false belief, a common misconception; a fictitious or imaginary person or thing; a popular conception about a real person or event which exaggerates or idealizes reality.
    Synonym: misconception
    • 2016, Tim Carvell; Josh Gondelman; Dan Gurewitch; Jeff Maurer; Ben Silva; Will Tracy; Jill Twiss; Seena Vali; Julie Weiner, “Opiods”, in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, season 3, episode 27, HBO, Warner Bros. Television:
      Okay, okay, okay… First, of course, babies feel pain. How the fuck did we ever think otherwise⁉ But more importantly, the fact that painkillers are addictive was not a myth. It’s like a book of Greek mythology featuring the stories of Zeus, Sisyphus, Oedipus and Yanni. Come on! That last one is very real and it cannot be dismissed.
    Scientists debunk the myth that gum stays in the human stomach for seven years.
  4. A person or thing held in excessive or quasi-religious awe or admiration based on popular legend
    Father Flanagan was legendary, his institution an American myth. (Tucson (Arizona) Citizen, 20 September 1979, 5A/3, cited after OED)
  5. A person or thing existing only in imagination, or whose actual existence is not verifiable.
  6. An invented story, theory, or concept.
    His story is a pure myth.

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  1. Nasal mutation of byth.


Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
byth fyth myth unchanged
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.