A legend is a larger-than-life story that gets passed down from one generation to the next — like the legends of Beowulf, Robin Hood, or even Big Foot.
Legend comes from the Latin legere, "to read." The Latin word was originally limited to written stories, but in English, legend lost that limitation. Often a legend lives on in the stories that people tell each other. A person can be a legend too. Anne Frank is a legend for keeping a diary of hidden life in war time, and a less famous person, like a long-serving local teacher, can be a legend to neighborhood kids.