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A local myth, legend, or piece of folklore that becomes widely spread through informal means, especially by word of mouth, usually describing, dealing with, or attempting to explain mysterious, macabre, horrific, or humorous events or happenings. A: "Did you ever hear about the kid whose stomach exploded from eating Pop Rocks and drinking soda at the same time?" B: "Oh, that's just a silly old urban legend." I remember hearing an urban legend about a young woman who hides in a chest in her attic for game of hide-and-seek on her wedding day. She gets locked inside and isn't found until many years later.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Fig. a myth or piece of folklore that is totally false. That story about the rats in the sewer being as big as dogs is an urban legend. It's just not so.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.