from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A quarrelsome, scolding woman; a shrew.
- adj. Shrewish; scolding.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A quarrelsome, scolding woman, especially one who is old and shrewd.
- adj. Quarrelsome and scolding or censorious; shrewish.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Tumultuous; turbulent; boisterous; furious; quarrelsome; scolding.
- n. An imaginary being supposed by the Christians to be a Moslem deity or false god. He is represented in the ancient moralities, farces, and puppet shows as extremely vociferous and tumultous.
- n. A boisterous, brawling, turbulent person; -- formerly applied to both sexes, now only to women.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. [capitalized] An imaginary deity, supposed to have been worshiped by the Mohammedans, and introduced into the moralities and other shows, in which he figured as a most violent and turbulent personage.
- n. A turbulent, brawling person, male or female.
- n. A boisterous, brawling, or turbulent woman; a shrew; a virago; a scold.
- Violent; turbulent; boisterous; quarrelsome; scolding; of women, shrewish.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a scolding nagging bad-tempered woman
Chapati Mystery a blog by Sepoy, "a doctoral candidate in History and South Asian Languages and Civilizations department at the University of Chicago" has a great post about the history of the word termagant 'a quarrelsome, scolding woman; a shrew.'
"Lord! what a termagant is your pretty cousin, Mr. Mallock!" said my companion when we were out of doors again.
Do I feel bad that I was done in by a 13-year-old boy and didn't know that "termagant" means me at times ... a quarrelsome woman?
I'd never heard "termagant" before, I'll have to look it up :
I am particularly fond of the word "termagant," so if you're an AF reading this post, do feel free to use that word as a descriptor for me.
If it had the personality of a jay or a gull I would more readily believe there was a meaningful connection with "termagant".
Petermann Etterlin, one of the early sixteenth-century Swiss authors who told the tale of William Tell, also wrote of how regional Governor Winkelried killed one of the termagant dragons: he wrapped thorny branches around a long lance and pushed this into the dragon's open mouth; then he finished off the beast with his sword.
And the woman was a termagant — at least so I've been told.
Her eldest son, Alec, returns home with his termagant wife when their house collapses.
Is this change from termagant to Good Housekeeping mom of 1945 real?
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