Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One that unexpectedly achieves recognition or success after a period of obscurity and neglect.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • proper noun A popular fairy tale embodying a classic folk tale myth-element of unjust oppression and triumphant reward, of which there were hundreds of versions before modern times.
  • proper noun The main character in this story, a mistreated and impoverished girl. At a royal ball she meets a handsome prince who later identifies her with a dropped article, most commonly a slipper, and removes her from her poverty.
  • proper noun rare A female given name
  • noun by analogy A mistreated and impoverished girl.
  • noun attributive Rising unexpectedly from obscurity to success, as a Cinderella team.
  • noun attributive Neglected and denied resources, as a Cinderella service.
  • noun philately A stamp or stamp-like label issued for purposes other than postal administration, not issued by a central government, or not listed in most general catalogues.
  • noun rare, disparaging A woman employed to clean, especially to remove ash from stoves and fireplaces.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a woman whose merits were not been recognized but who then achieves sudden success and recognition
  • noun a fictional young girl who is saved from her stepmother and stepsisters by her fairy godmother and a handsome prince

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[After Cinderella, the fairy-tale character who escapes from a life of drudgery and marries a prince, translation of French Cendrillon.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From cinder, as if little cinder girl. Compare French Cendrillon.

Examples

  • _Catskin_, which Mr. Burchell told to the children of the Vicar of Wakefield, is considered by Newell as the oldest of the Cinderella types, appearing in Straparola in 1550, while _Cinderella_ appeared first in Basile in

    A Study of Fairy Tales

  • Let us take, for instance, the Story of Cinderella: The coach and pumpkins to which I have alluded and all the magic part of the story, are false to actual facts as we meet them in our every life; but is it not a higher truth that _Cinderella_ could escape from her chimney corner by thinking of the brightness outside?

    The Art of the Story-Teller

  • CINDERELLA stars audience favorite Dara Cameron as Cinderella (Wizard of Oz, Little Women), and

    BroadwayWorld.com Featured Content

  • CINDERELLA EATS RICE AND BEANS is a contemporary, Latin-American Cinderella musical that delightfully turns the classic fairy tale on its head, telling the story from both Cinderella and her stepsisters 'perspectives.

    BroadwayWorld.com Atlanta Stories

  • CINDERELLA EATS RICE AND BEANS is a contemporary, Latin-American Cinderella musical that delightfully turns the classic fairy tale on its head, telling the story from both Cinderella and her stepsisters 'perspectives.

    BroadwayWorld.com Atlanta Stories

  • CINDERELLA EATS RICE AND BEANS is a contemporary, Latin-American Cinderella musical that delightfully turns the classic fairy tale on its head, telling the story from both Cinderella and her stepsisters 'perspectives.

    BroadwayWorld.com Fargo Stories

  • After finishing university and marrying, she says that what she calls the "Cinderella path" of monogamy did not feel right to her.

    BBC News - Home

  • Scholars have attacked it for promoting female passivity, for giving stepmothers a bad name, and for equating beauty with virtue: The pretty Cinderella is good and her ugly stepsisters are bad.

    Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo! The Case for ‘Cinderella’ (Including, Yes, the Disney Version) — Classics Every Child Should Read « One-Minute Book Reviews

  • Scholars have attacked it for promoting female passivity, for giving stepmothers a bad name, and for equating beauty with virtue: The pretty Cinderella is good and her ugly stepsisters are bad.

    2009 April 18 « One-Minute Book Reviews

  • In which I am interviewed at Cabinet des Fees regarding poetry, mythpunk, and knitting, and also a poem of mine regarding Cinderella is reprinted (possibly for the first time online.)

    Birthday Links

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