old wives' tale

noun

Definition of 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

Many doctors perceive the use of cod-liver oil for joint pain as an old wives' tale. Houston Chronicle, "Old wives’ remedy helped arthritis pain," 1 July 2018 When to Go to the Doctor Despite the old wives' tale, cranberry juice will not cure your UTI. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "9 Common UTI Symptoms You Should Never Ignore," 12 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'old wives' tale.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of old wives' tale

1572, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for old wives' tale

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

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More Definitions for old wives' tale

old wives' tale

noun

English Language Learners Definition of old wives' tale

: a common belief about something that is not based on facts and that is usually false

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