the emperor's new clothes

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the emperor's new clothes

Something widely accepted as true or professed as being praiseworthy due to an unwillingness of the general population to criticize it or be seen as going against popular opinion. Taken from the Hans Christian Andersen fable of the same name, in which a vain king is sold imaginary clothing (i.e., nothing at all) by two weavers who promise him that it is visible only to the wise and cannot be seen by those who are ignorant, incompetent, or unfit for their position. The company's newest device is, in fact, a complete waste of money, but so many people are invested in their brand loyalty that they will continue to buy and adore it like the emperor's new clothes.
See also: clothes, new
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

the ˌemperor’s new ˈclothes


the ˌemperor has no ˈclothes

used to describe a situation in which everybody suddenly realises that they were mistaken in believing that somebody/something was very good, important, etc: Soon, investors will realize that the emperor has no clothes and there will be a big sell-off in stocks.This comes from a story by Hans Christian Andersen. Two men offer to make an emperor a new suit from a very light material which they say stupid people cannot see. When the emperor puts on the suit, nobody wants to appear stupid so they all praise his new clothes. However, when a little boy asks why the emperor has no clothes on, everybody admits that they can see no clothes and that the emperor is naked.
See also: clothes, new
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
So maybe all we can do is remember how the Hans Christen Andersen fable The Emperor's New Clothes ends:
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Additional new titles in this popular series include the following: "About Bats (9781601152671, $9.95)" by Sindy McKay, illustrated by Wendy Smith, and "The Emperor's New Clothes (9781601152695, $9.95)" by Sindy McKay, from the story by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Toni Goffe.
It's like Hans Christian Andersen's The Emperor's New Clothes, which was immortalised in the brilliant Danny Kaye film.
The analogy of the emperor's new clothes seems, in the circumstances, to be quite apt.
I hope when making their new year resolutions, the stewards of the UK's financial system - be that politicians or bankers, regulators or directors, actuaries or accountants - consulted the Emperor's New Clothes and reminded themselves of the dangers of collective delusion.
The Emperor's New Clothes. Stephanie True Peters and Jeffrey Stewart Timmins.
At last, someone who is prepared to point out the emperor's new clothes, or lack of.