- a heroine of a fairy tale or folk tale who is maltreated by a malevolent stepmother but achieves happiness and marries a prince through the benevolent intervention of a fairy godmother.
- (italics) the tale itself, the earliest version of which is in Chinese and dates from the 9th century a.d.
- (italics) a ballet (1945) with musical score by Sergei Prokofiev.
- a person or thing of merit, undeservedly neglected or forced into a wretched or obscure existence.
- a person who achieves unexpected or sudden success or recognition, especially after obscurity, neglect, or misery.
Examples from the Web for cinderella
It was a Cinderella story, being discovered at a sporting event.World Cup Fan Axelle Despiegelaere Already Dropped From L’Oreal; Forever 21 Fired Chrissy Teigan For Being "Fat"
The Fashion Beast Team
July 11, 2014
The characters were more like Snow White, or Cinderella, or the Power Puff Girls, and I had to wear a big head with a chinstrap.Alison Brie on ‘Community’s’ New Beginning, Dan Harmon’s Return, Nicolas Cage, and More
January 3, 2014
Everyone loves a Cinderella story, and Orange Is the New Black has a prison full of them.Danielle Brooks, Taystee on ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ Is the Breakout Star of the Year
December 11, 2013
In Western schools, students are encouraged to speak their minds after reading stories like “Cinderella.”China’s Schools Teaches Kids to Take Tests, Obey the State, and Not Much More
November 30, 2013
The Master of Ceremonies for the affair was dressed as the Royal Footman from Cinderella, Major Domo.The Most Ridiculous Parts of Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon’s Vow Renewal
May 1, 2013
And if she's Cinderella, can't we have a peep at the fairy godmother?The Bacillus of Beauty
Have you ever seen a picture of Cinderella's fairy godmother?Five Mice in a Mouse-trap
Laura E. Richards
Cinderella brought the trap to her and in it there were three huge rats.
Peter had opened the garden gate, and Cinderella was walking into the garden.
Don't yer think, Cinderella, as it wor he put the locket in your pocket?Sue, A Little Heroine
L. T. Meade
- a girl who achieves fame after being obscure
- a poor, neglected, or unsuccessful person or thing
- (as modifier)a Cinderella service within the NHS
- (modifier) relating to dramatic successa Cinderella story
Word Origin and History for cinderella
pseudo-translation of French Cendrillon, from cendre "ashes" (see cinder). Used figuratively for something unappreciated or something that ends at midnight. A widespread Eurasian folk tale, the oldest known version is Chinese (c.850 C.E.); the English version is based on Perrault's "Cendrillon" (1697), translated from French 1729 by Robert Sambler, but native versions probably existed (e.g. Scottish "Rashin Coatie"). The German form is Aschenbrödel, literally "scullion," from asche "ash" (see ash (n.1)) + brodeln "bubble up, to brew."
A fairy tale from the collection of Charles Perrault. Cinderella, a young girl, is forced by her stepmother and stepsisters to do heavy housework and relaxes by sitting among the cinders by the fireplace. One evening, when the prince of the kingdom is holding a ball, Cinderella's fairy godmother visits her, magically dresses her for the ball, turns a pumpkin into a magnificent carriage for her, warns her not to stay past midnight, and sends her off. Cinderella captivates the prince at the ball but leaves just as midnight is striking, and in her haste she drops a slipper; as the story is usually told in English, the slipper is made of glass. She returns home with her fine clothes turned back into rags and her carriage a pumpkin again. The prince searches throughout the kingdom for the owner of the slipper. Cinderella is the only one whom it fits, and the prince marries her.