urban myth

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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World English Dictionary
urban myth
 
n
a story, esp one with a shocking or amusing ending, related as having actually happened, usu. to someone vaguely connected with the teller

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  urban myth
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a folkloric and often sensational tale about modern life that is repeated in the media and by other means, making it more believable to some; also called urban legend
Etymology:  from the book book The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends & Their Meanings
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