Difference Wiki

Fact vs. Myth: What's the Difference?

By Janet White || Updated on November 22, 2023
A fact is a statement that can be proven true or false, while a myth is a traditional story or widely held but false belief.

Key Differences

Facts are statements that are verifiable and supported by evidence. In contrast, myths are narratives or beliefs that, while often popular, lack factual backing and are not scientifically verifiable.
Facts are based on objective reality and can be proven true or false through observation or research. Myths, however, often originate from cultural stories, folklore, or misconceptions, and are not grounded in empirical evidence.
Facts are crucial in academic, scientific, and practical fields for accurate understanding and decision-making. Myths, while not factually accurate, play a role in cultural identity, moral lessons, or entertainment.
Facts can change with new evidence or discoveries, reflecting the evolving nature of knowledge. Myths tend to be more static, reflecting traditional beliefs or values rather than current scientific understanding.
Facts are often used to debunk myths, as factual information can counteract misinformation and unfounded beliefs.

Comparison Chart


Verifiable and evidence-based
Traditional or fictional, not evidence-based


Based on empirical evidence
Originates from culture, folklore


Inform, educate, prove
Entertain, teach moral lessons


Can change with new evidence
Often static, based on tradition

Role in Society

Basis for knowledge and decision-making
Cultural significance, storytelling

Fact and Myth Definitions


Reality as it is, not as it's imagined.
It's a fact that the Earth orbits the sun.


A traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people.
The myth of Hercules is a popular tale in Greek mythology.


A statement that can be proven true.
The fact that water boils at 100°C is well-established.


An exaggerated or idealized conception of a person or thing.
The myth of the perfect family is often portrayed in media.


Something based on evidence.
The fact that smoking is harmful is supported by medical research.


A fictitious or imaginary person or thing.
Dragons are a myth in many cultures around the world.


A piece of information presented as having objective reality.
The fact of her being the first woman to hold the position was significant.


A widely held but false belief.
The myth that bats are blind persists, despite evidence to the contrary.


A truth known by actual experience or observation.
The fact that the climate is changing is evident from temperature records.


A story or concept that explains natural or social phenomena.
Ancient myths often explained the origins of the stars and planets.


Knowledge or information based on real occurrences
An account based on fact.
A blur of fact and fancy.


A traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people, as by explaining aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology, customs, or ideals of society
The myth of Eros and Psyche.
A creation myth.


Something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed
Genetic engineering is now a fact. That Chaucer was a real person is an undisputed fact.


A real occurrence; an event
Had to prove the facts of the case.


Can facts change over time?

Yes, as new evidence emerges, what is considered a fact can change.

What is a myth?

A myth is a traditional story or a widely held belief that is not based on fact.

Are myths always fictional?

Mostly, though they can be based on historical events or figures.

Can myths influence behavior?

Yes, they can shape beliefs and therefore influence actions.

How do we verify facts?

Through research, experimentation, and empirical evidence.

Why are myths important in culture?

They offer insights into cultural values, history, and beliefs.

What defines a fact?

A fact is a statement that can be proven true based on evidence.

Can myths be harmful?

Yes, if they lead to misinformation or reinforce negative stereotypes.

How do you distinguish fact from opinion?

Facts are verifiable and objective, while opinions are subjective.

Can a fact be subjective?

No, facts are objective and independent of personal feelings.

Do myths have any truth to them?

They may contain moral or philosophical truths, but not factual ones.

What is an example of a common myth?

That humans use only 10% of their brains is a common myth.

Are historical facts always accurate?

They are based on the best available evidence, but interpretations can vary.

Can a fact become a myth?

If it's disproven and still believed, it can take on the nature of a myth.

Do myths vary across cultures?

Yes, each culture has its own set of myths and legends.


Facts provide a reliable basis for informed decisions.

Is scientific theory a fact?

Theories are well-supported explanations but are open to revision with new evidence.

Are all myths ancient?

No, new myths can emerge in modern times as well.

How are myths passed down?

Traditionally through storytelling and now also through media.

Why do some myths persist despite evidence?

Due to cultural beliefs, tradition, or resistance to change.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons