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Definition of Cinderella
- a girl in various traditional European fairy tales. In the version by Charles Perrault she is exploited as a servant by her family but enabled by a fairy godmother to attend a royal ball. She meets and captivates Prince Charming but has to flee at midnight, leaving the prince to identify her by the glass slipper which she leaves behind.
from cinder + the diminutive suffix -ella, on the pattern of French Cendrillon, from cendre 'cinders'