- a girl who achieves fame after being obscure
- a poor, neglected, or unsuccessful person or thing
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
- 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.
- (italics) the tale itself, the earliest version of which is in Chinese and dates from the 9th century a.d.
- Dance, Music and Dance(italics) a ballet (1945) with musical score by Sergei Prokofiev.
- a person or thing of merit, undeservedly neglected or forced into a wretched or obscure existence.
- a person who achieves unexpected or sudden success or recognition, esp. after obscurity, neglect, or misery.