From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishlegendle‧gend1 /ˈledʒənd/ ●●○ noun 1 [countable, uncountable]STORY an old well-known story, often about brave people, adventures, or magical events → myth a book of ancient Greek legendslegend of the legend of St George and the dragonaccording to legend According to legend, he escaped by leaping from the cliffs into the sea. Local legend has it that (=says that) the island was the original Garden of Eden. ► see thesaurus at story2 [countable]FAMOUS someone who is famous and admired for being extremely good at doing somethingtennis/footballing/music etc legend We must put more money into the sport if we want to create the tennis legends of the future. a marvellous player who was a legend in his own lifetime► see thesaurus at star → living legend at living1(6)3 → be a legend4 [countable] literary words that have been written somewhere, for example on a sign A sign above the door bore the legend ‘Patience is a Virtue’.5 [countable] technical the words that explain a picture or map → keyCOLLOCATIONSadjectivesan old/ancient legendYou will have heard the old legend about how the rocks were formed.a local legendAccording to a local legend, the tree was planted by a wizard.a popular legend (=one that many people believe)A popular legend grew up about him. a Greek/Roman/Celtic etc legendthe figure of Hercules in Greek legendArthurian legend(s) (=the legends about King Arthur of Britain)The castle of Camelot plays an important role in Arthurian legend.verbsbecome legend/pass into legendThe incident became legend.a legend grew (up) (=developed over time)The legend of his bravery grew after he killed the dragon. (the) legend saysLegend says King Arthur’s sword was thrown into one of the pools here.the legend tells howThe legend tells how the King of Troy offended Poseidon, the sea god.the legend goes (=says)Two people, so the legend goes, refused to flee.a legend is attached to something (=connected with it)The cave has an unusual legend attached to it.phraseslegend has it that (=says that)Legend has it that Rhodes was home to the sun god Helios.be the subject of legend (also be the stuff of legend) (=have stories told about them)The island has long been the subject of legend.myths and legendsI read and reread the Greek myths and legends.
Examples from the Corpuslegend• Legend has it that Sarah Heln, who died in 1913, was shut alive inside a lead coffin.• Among Mexican music fans, Fernandez is a legend.• The guy is a legend around the plant.• Joey, a legend among motor-cycling fans in Ulster, has always been a man of the people.• Khan had topped the field for ten years and was a legend in his sport.• His stories about that night became legend.• To kick off the event, he invited fitness legend Jack LaLanne to cavort with the models.• Michael Jordan is a living legend of basketball.• the rock and roll legend Elvis Presley• The media could not resist the combination of pop meeting sporting legend.• Details of wounding are given in the legend to Table 1.• According to the legend, Bodhidharma fell asleep in the course of an extremely long meditation.• The Legend of Prince Valiant• the legend of Robin Hood• According to legend, the whole castle was washed into the sea.according to legend• That city had, according to legend, been destroyed in ancient times by fire from heaven.tennis/footballing/music etc legend• The Wizard of the Dribble:A footballing legend comes to lunch.legendlegend2 adjective British English informal very good – used especially by young people This song is absolutely legend!Origin legend (1300-1400) French légende, from Medieval Latin legenda, from Latin legere “to gather, choose, read”