[fohk-lawr, -lohr]
the traditional beliefs, legends, customs, etc., of a people; lore of a people.
the study of such lore.
a body of widely held but false or unsubstantiated beliefs.

1846; folk + lore; coined by English scholar and antiquary William John Thoms (1803–85)

folklorist, noun
folkloristic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
folklore (ˈfəʊkˌlɔː)
1.  the unwritten literature of a people as expressed in folk tales, proverbs, riddles, songs, etc
2.  the body of stories and legends attached to a particular place, group, activity, etc: Hollywood folklore; rugby folklore
3.  the anthropological discipline concerned with the study of folkloric materials
n, —adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1846, coined by antiquarian William J. Thoms (1803-1885) as an Anglo-Saxonism (replacing popular antiquaries) and first published in the "Athenaeum" of Aug. 22, 1846, from folk + lore. This word revived folk in a modern sense of "of the common people,
whose culture is handed down orally," and opened up a flood of compound formations, eg. folk art (1921), folk-hero (1899), folk-medicine (1898), folk-tale/folk tale (1891), folk-song (1847), folk-dance (1912).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

folklore definition

Traditional stories and legends, transmitted orally (rather than in writing) from generation to generation. The stories of Paul Bunyan are examples of American folklore.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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