old wives' tale

See synonyms for old wives' tale on Thesaurus.com
  1. a traditional belief, story, or idea that is often of a superstitious nature.

Origin of old wives' tale

First recorded in 1670–80

Words Nearby old wives' tale

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use old wives' tale in a sentence

  • The shock of what took place down there has him recalling every old wives tale about witches that he has ever heard.

    The Sex Life of the Gods | Michael Knerr

British Dictionary definitions for old wives' tale

old wives' tale

  1. a belief, usually superstitious or erroneous, passed on by word of mouth as a piece of traditional wisdom

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with old wives' tale

old wives' tale

A superstition, as in Toads cause warts? That's an old wives' tale. This expression was already known in ancient Greece, and a version in English was recorded in 1387. Despite invoking bigoted stereotypes of women and old people, it survives.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.