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sob story

an excessively sentimental human-interest story.
an alibi or excuse, especially one designed to arouse sympathy:
Instead of a raise, the boss gave us another sob story about her expenses.
Origin of sob story
First recorded in 1915-20 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sob story
Historical Examples
  • As I said I didn't start out to tell a sob story, but in this business we see quite a few cases like that.

    The Tyranny of Weakness Charles Neville Buck
  • What journalists call a 'sob story,' or is it meant to be humorous?

    Our Casualty And Other Stories James Owen Hannay, AKA George A. Birmingham
  • It's about a feller vot takes anodder feller's place and gits his head cut off; and say, dere's a sob story in it vot's a vunder.

    They Call Me Carpenter Upton Sinclair
British Dictionary definitions for sob story

sob story

a tale of personal distress intended to arouse sympathy, esp one offered as an excuse or apology
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for sob story

sob story

noun phrase

A very affecting tale, esp an account of one's disabling troubles; a story that disingenuously appeals to one's charitable nature: Do not weep crocodile tears over media sob stories (1913+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with sob story

sob story

A tale of personal hardship, true or invented, that is intended to arouse pity in the listener. For example, She always came up with some sob story to excuse her absences, but no one believed her. [ Early 1900s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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