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folklore

[fohk-lawr, -lohr] /ˈfoʊkˌlɔr, -ˌloʊr/
noun
1.
the traditional beliefs, legends, customs, etc., of a people; lore of a people.
2.
the study of such lore.
3.
a body of widely held but false or unsubstantiated beliefs.
Origin of folklore
1846
1846; folk + lore1; coined by English scholar and antiquary William John Thoms (1803-85)
Related forms
folklorist, noun
folkloristic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for folklore
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is no wonder, therefore, that the Germans have given it so prominent a place in their folklore.

    The Science of Fairy Tales Edwin Sidney Hartland
  • Some of them are even comic characters, like the devil in Scottish folklore.

  • They ran in strains of folklore plaintiveness and rhythmic sobs of wailing cadences.

    Destiny Charles Neville Buck
  • This cruder belief is more familiar in the folklore of Europe than the other.

    The Science of Fairy Tales Edwin Sidney Hartland
  • One of the common grounds of folklore and myth is that where religious elements obviously enter into folk-belief and custom.

British Dictionary definitions for folklore

folklore

/ˈfəʊkˌlɔː/
noun
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
Derived Forms
folkloric, adjective
folklorist, noun, adjective
folkloristic, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for folklore
n.

1846, coined by antiquarian William J. Thoms (1803-1885) as an Anglo-Saxonism (replacing popular antiquities) and first published in the "Athenaeum" of Aug. 22, 1846, from folk + lore. Old English folclar meant "homily."

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, e.g. folk art (1892), folk-hero (1874), folk-medicine (1877), folk-tale/folk tale (1850; Old English folctalu meant "genealogy"), folk-song (1847), folk singer (1876), folk-dance (1877).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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folklore in Culture

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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15
17
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