old wives' tale


: an often traditional belief that is not based on fact : superstition

Examples of old wives' tale in a Sentence

Frogs won't give you warts. That's just an old wives' tale. the old wives' tale about the full moon causing people to act crazy
Recent Examples on the Web That's why there's no shortage of old wives' tales surrounding the induction of labor—and no end to parents-to-be looking for signs that their little one will arrive soon. Melissa Mills, Parents, 19 Dec. 2023 The idea that breast milk is a cure-all might seem like an old wives' tale, but there's scientific research behind the results Williams is seeing: fresh breast milk has been proven to help with atopic eczema, diaper rash, and a collection of other maladies. Margaux Anbouba, Vogue, 6 Dec. 2023 For centuries, women have relied on this old wives' tale to get shiny, irresistibly touchable hair. Ashlyn Messier, Fox News, 17 June 2013 According to old wives' tales, these pregnancy symptoms may suggest your baby will be assigned male at birth. Christin Perry, Parents, 25 July 2023 Well, the Germans like a touch of oversteer, and that's no old wives' tale. Larry Griffin, Car and Driver, 15 Mar. 2023 An old wives' tale that keeping raw, unpeeled onions out will keep your family safe from illnesses such as the flu is making the rounds on Facebook. Katie Landeck, USA TODAY, 16 June 2020 The myth, which is partly based on an old wives' tale that claims that every year on the vernal and autumnal equinox, eggs are able to balance on their ends, appears to have surfaced annually since at least 2012. NBC News, 11 Feb. 2020 The supposed toxicity of this Christmas classic is nothing more than an old wives' tale, Dr. Wismer says. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, 14 Dec. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'old wives' tale.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1572, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of old wives' tale was in 1572

Dictionary Entries Near old wives' tale

Cite this Entry

“Old wives' tale.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/old%20wives%27%20tale. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

old wives' tale

: a belief that is not based on fact : superstition
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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