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


  • IPA(key): /ˌsɪndəˈɹɛlə/

Proper nounEdit


  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 termsEdit



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.
  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 readingEdit