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Rumpelstiltskin

[ruhm-puh l-stilt-skin]
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noun
  1. a dwarf in a German folktale who spins flax into gold for a young woman to meet the demands of the prince she has married, on the condition that she give him her first child or else guess his name: she guesses his name and he vanishes or destroys himself in a rage.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for rumpelstiltskin

Rumpelstiltskin

noun
  1. a dwarf in a German folktale who aids the king's bride on condition that she give him her first child or guess the dwarf's name. She guesses correctly and in his rage he destroys himself
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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

Word Origin and History for rumpelstiltskin

Rumpelstiltskin

n.

1840, from German Rumpelstilzchen. The German form of the name is used in English from 1828.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rumpelstiltskin in Culture

“Rumpelstiltskin”

A fairy tale from the collection of the brothers Grimm. The title character, a dwarf, tells a woman who has promised him her first-born child that he will not hold her to her promise if she can guess his name. She finds it out, and Rumpelstiltskin, furious, destroys himself.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.