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See also: cinderella



Alternative forms[edit]


From cinder, as in little cinder girl. Compare French Cendrillon.


  • IPA(key): /ˌsɪndəˈɹɛlə/
    • (file)

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A popular fairy tale embodying a classic folk tale myth-element of unjust oppression and triumphant reward.
  2. The main character in this story, a mistreated and impoverished girl. At a royal ball she meets a handsome prince who later identifies her by means of a dropped article, most commonly a slipper, and removes her from her poverty.
  3. (rare) A female given name originating as a coinage.

Derived terms[edit]



Cinderella (plural Cinderellas)

  1. (by analogy) A mistreated and impoverished girl.
  2. (attributive) Something rising unexpectedly from obscurity to success, as a Cinderella team.
  3. (attributive) Something neglected and denied resources, as a Cinderella service.
    • 2020 January 2, David Clough, “How InterCity came back from the brink”, in Rail, page 64:
      A very early example of this can be seen in the case of the Midland Main Line (MML). At the start of 1982, this was the Cinderella of the InterCity portfolio but building more High Speed Trains (HSTs) to replace 90mph trainsets was out of the question. During 1982-83, Bleasdale shuffled his HST pack by taking sets from the Eastern and Western Regions and allocated these to the MML.
  4. (philately) A stamp or stamp-like label issued for purposes other than postal administration, not issued by a central government, or not listed in most general catalogues.
  5. (rare, derogatory) A woman employed to clean, especially to remove ash from stoves and fireplaces.


  • L. N. and M. Williams, Cinderella Stamps, London, Heinemann, 1970

Further reading[edit]