from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Ill-tempered; nagging.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Having the qualities of a shrew; given to exhibitions of ill temper; vixenish: applied to women.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective having the qualities of a shrew; having a scolding disposition; froward; peevish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to a shrew, a nagging, ill-tempered woman.

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

  • adjective continually complaining or faultfinding


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

shrew +‎ -ish


  • In Norway, for example, when Gro Harlem Brundtland became prime minister in 1981, she had to endure some of the same sexist scrutnisation which Hillary is currently facing (i.e. the woman is a "witch or a bitch", and has a "bad temper" and tends to sound "shrewish" when "agitated").

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  • Hillary also won over my skeptical staff at the US embassy, many of whom had read the negative US press about her and expected that she would be a kind of shrewish Dragon Lady.

    Derek Shearer: Hillary As An Agent of Change

  • He calls her "shrewish", "looking (and failing, evidently) to find someone or something in

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  • As the years pass, the generation of grandchildren grows up to face its own difficulties – a hated boarding school, the uncertainty about a lost father, a sad, shrewish mother.

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  • Colonel Tigh is an angry bitter drunk, and Ellen is his shrewish and manipulative ex-wife.

    MIND MELD: If We Ran Battlestar Galactica

  • But these days, bravado in men on screen plays chauvinistic and strength boorish, where for women, good sense is written as shrewish and vulnerability weak.

    Emily Bracken: Romantic Comedies Are Dying Because Romance Is Dead

  • Most of the main characters are emotionally balked men who hide from their exasperated, shrewish wives by throwing themselves into their work and who are given to as in one story "building tall towers of self-pity and then watching them sway."

    Strained Separations

  • Dear Lydia, you can consider yourself honored at least to be the opposite of a shrewish man hater of which there is no shortage.

    The Pink Dress

  • It was the one thing he feared about her — that pain and disappointment had made her bitter, shrewish.

    Heart vs. Head

  • It was the one thing he feared about her — that pain and disappointment had made her bitter, shrewish.

    Heart vs. Head


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  • Also see waspish

    April 11, 2009