Definition of old wives' tale in US English:

old wives' tale


  • A superstition or traditional belief that is regarded as unscientific or incorrect.

    • ‘The Wiltshire Badger Group claimed the vets were ignoring modern science and relying on old wives' tales.’
    • ‘It is an old wives' tale that this is supposed to be lucky, but I have no idea why.’
    • ‘Much of what we intuitively believe about how we operate is likely to turn out to be… well, just a bunch of old wives' tales.’
    • ‘There is also an old wives' tale that if you put a penny down on the trail they won't cross copper.’
    • ‘Such old wives' tales as the caps of edible fungi peeling easily, or brightly coloured fungi being poisonous, cannot be relied upon.’
    • ‘While the previous chapter covered the extermination of zombies, this chapter will explain the many misconceptions and old wives' tales about killing zombies or old wives.’
    • ‘There are many old wives' tales that have no basis in the law.’
    • ‘But he does agree that there are plenty of misconceptions around about First Aid and emergency medicine, whether they come from the TV or are just old wives' tales.’
    • ‘I wouldn't take old wives' tales like that too seriously.’
    • ‘Mine is a generation without old wives' tales or handy money-saving hints.’
    • ‘They giggled and pretended to know everything about herbs, but Althea had caught many things they had said that were wrong, and were only old wives' tales about the healing items.’
    • ‘I fear you are repeating what is now widely regarded as an old wives' tale!’
    • ‘In addition to formal calendars using certain flowers, superstitions and old wives' tales about plants and flowers abound for each month of the year.’
    • ‘Some have been based on medical knowledge, but many have arisen from superstition and old wives' tales.’
    • ‘Although this may sound like an old wives' tale, I have seen prodigious results from this experiment on several occasions.’
    • ‘The story may have appeared reliable because firemen supposedly don't tell old wives' tales.’
    • ‘And while in the past these kinds of remedies may have been dismissed as old wives' tales, the situation is changing.’
    • ‘But despite what old wives' tales may have you believe, not wearing a jacket or sweater when it's chilly, sitting or sleeping in a draft, and going outside while your hair's wet do not cause colds.’
    • ‘The old wives' tale about tequila's mind-altering properties comes from its proximity to mezcal, which in turn has been confused with mescaline.’
    • ‘The temptation then is to defer to modern science and dismiss ancient pedigrees as old wives' tales.’
    myth, saga, epic, folk tale, folk story, traditional story, tale, story, fairy tale, narrative, fable, romance
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