urban legend

noun
a modern story of obscure origin and with little or no supporting evidence that spreads spontaneously in varying forms and often has elements of humor, moralizing, or horror: Are there alligators living in the New York City sewer system, or is that just an urban legend?
Also called urban myth.


Origin:
1970–75

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  urban legend
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  See urban myth
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

urban legend definition

publication
A story, which may have started with a grain of truth, that has been embroidered and retold until it has passed into the realm of myth. It is an interesting phenomenon that these stories get spread so far, so fast and so often. Urban legends never die, they just end up on the Internet! Some legends that periodically make their rounds include "The Infamous Modem Tax", "Craig Shergold/Brain Tumor/Get Well Cards", and "The $250 Cookie Recipe".
(1996-05-08)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
According to urban legend, air pollution enhances the beauty of a sunset.
The idea that the beer tastes of aluminum is an urban legend.
Which proves that, yes, sorcerers have strong powers but do not know the
  difference between fact and urban legend.
There's a bit of an urban legend that certain times of the day are better than
  others for booking airfare.
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