American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various small, chiefly insectivorous mammals of the family Soricidae, resembling a mouse but having a long pointed snout and small eyes and ears. Also called shrewmouse.
- n. A woman with a violent, scolding, or nagging temperament; a scold.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A wicked or evil person; a malignant person.
- n. A woman of a perverse, violent, or malignant temper; a scold; a termagant.
- n. An evil thing; a great danger.
- n. A planet of evil or malignant aspect or influence.
- Wicked; evil; ill-natured; unkind.
- To make evil; deprave.
- To curse; beshrew.
- n. A small insectivorous mammal of the genus Sorex or family Soricidæ; a shrew-mouse. They are all small, greatly resembling mice in size, form, color, and general appearance (whence the name shrew-mouse), but belong to a different order(Insectivora. not Rodentia). They may be distinguished at a glance by the long sharp snout. They are widely distributed, chiefly in the northern hemisphers, and the species are numerous, of several different genera, particularly Sorex, which contains more than any other. The little animals are very voracious, and devour great quantities of insects and worms; but there is no foundation in fact for the vulgar notion that shrews are poisonous, or for any other of the popular superstitions respecting these harmless little creatures. The shrews have usually a musky odor, due to the secretion of some special subcutaneous glands with which they are provided, and in some of the larger kinds this scent is very strong. Among the shrews are the most diminutive of all mammals, with the head and body less than 2 inches long; others are two or three times as large as this. The common shrew of Europe is Sorex vulgaris. The commonest in the United States is a large short tailed species, Blarina brevicauda. The teeth of shrews are generally chestnut or reddish-black, but some shrews are white-toothed, as those of the genus Crocidura; some are aquatic, as the oared or oar-footed shrew, Crossopus fodiens of Europe, and Neosorex palustris of North America. The name is extended, with a qualifying term, to related animals of a different family, as the shrew-moles and desmans. See shrew-mole, elephant shrew, marsh-shrew, mole-shrew, musk-shrew. squirrel-shrew, water-shrew, and cuts under Blarina, desman, Petrodromus, Ptilocercus, Rhynchocyon, and Tupaia.
- n. Any of numerous small mouselike, chiefly nocturnal, mammals of the family Soricidae.
- n. An ill-tempered, nagging woman: a scold.
- v. obsolete, transitive To beshrew; to curse.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. obsolete Wicked; malicious.
- n. Originally, a brawling, turbulent, vexatious person of either sex, but now restricted in use to females; a brawler; a scold.
- n. (Zoöl.) Any small insectivore of the genus Sorex and several allied genera of the family
Sorecidæ. In form and color they resemble mice, but they have a longer and more pointed nose. Some of them are the smallest of all mammals.
- v. obsolete To beshrew; to curse.
- n. a scolding nagging bad-tempered woman
- n. small mouselike mammal with a long snout; related to moles
- Old English scrēawa, of unknown origin. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English shrewe, villian, from Old English scrēawa, shrewmouse. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Our forefathers provided themselves with what they called a shrew-ash, in order to meet the case.”
“The role of domestic shrew is played, to some extent, by Summerset.”
“The new shrew is presently only known from mid montane and lowland rainforests of Sinharaja.”
“The musk shrew is a very primitive ancestor of primates and when given to the females they displayed reproductive behaviour, and the males would mate with them.”
“Though first described as a subspecies of the Common shrew S. araneus, the Spanish shrew is strongly distinct genetically and in having a particularly unusual short skull.”
“The Pantelleria shrew is controversial, with various studies indicating that it is a subspecies of the Greater white-toothed shrew (C. russula).”
“The Appenine shrew is endemic to Italy, and while formerly regarded by some as conspecific with the Common shrew, it is quite different, having a much shorter tail for example.”
“With that I full agree, and was my main problem with the whole 'shrew'-aganza.”
“Incidentally, the Hinton who named the Scilly shrew is Martin Alister Campbell Hinton (1883-1961), former Keeper of Zoology at London’s Natural History Museum, and perhaps best known nowadays as possible perpetrator of the Piltdown hoax.”
“She is and has been called a shrew, a harpy, a talentless hack, grotesque, old, ugly, controlling, and so on, as well being treated to all the racial epithets you can think of and more.”
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Looking for tweets for shrew.