Pronunciation: (sin"du-rel'u), [key]
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, esp. after obscurity, neglect, or misery.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.