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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To reprimand or criticize harshly and usually angrily.
  • intransitive v. To reprove or criticize openly.
  • n. One who persistently nags or criticizes: "As a critic gets older, he or she usually grows more tetchy and . . . may even become a big-league scold” ( James Wolcott).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person fond of abusive language, in particular a troublesome and angry woman.
  • v. To rebuke.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To find fault or rail with rude clamor; to brawl; to utter harsh, rude, boisterous rebuke; to chide sharply or coarsely; -- often with at.
  • transitive v. To chide with rudeness and clamor; to rate; also, to rebuke or reprove with severity.
  • n. One who scolds, or makes a practice of scolding; esp., a rude, clamorous woman; a shrew.
  • n. A scolding; a brawl.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To chide or find fault, especially with noisy clamor or railing; utter harsh rebuke, railing, or vituperation.
  • To chide with railing or clamor; berate; rail at.
  • n. One who scolds; a scolder; especially, a noisy, railing woman; a termagant.
  • n. A scolding: as, she gave him a rousing scold.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. censure severely or angrily
  • n. someone (especially a woman) who annoys people by constantly finding fault
  • v. show one's unhappiness or critical attitude


Middle English scolden, to be abusive, from scolde, an abusive person, probably of Scandinavian origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old Norse skald "poet". English since the 12th century. (Wiktionary)



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