Cinderella [ sin-duh-rel-uh ]
1. a heroine of a fairy tale or folk tale who is maltreated by a malevolent stepmother but achieves happiness and marries a prince through the benevolent intervention of a fairy godmother.
2. (italics) the tale itself, the earliest version of which is in Chinese and dates from the 9th-century a.d.
3. (italics) a ballet (1945) with musical score by Sergei Prokofiev.
4. a person or thing of merit, undeservedly neglected or forced into a wretched or obscure existence.
5. a person who achieves unexpected or sudden success or recognition, especially after obscurity, neglect, or misery.
Origin: after Cinderella, fairy-tale heroine who is used as a drudge by her stepmother but ends up married to a prince
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