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old wives' tale

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noun
  1. a traditional belief, story, or idea that is often of a superstitious nature.
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Origin of old wives' tale

First recorded in 1670–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for old wives' tale

fallacy, folklore, legend, lore, myth, notion, allegory, fable, moral, parable, story, superstition, tale, tradition, yarn

British Dictionary definitions for old wives' tale

old wives' tale

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

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.

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