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from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The qualities or characteristics of a virago.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The qualities or characteristics of a virago.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The qualities of a virago. [Rare.] Imp. Dict.


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • n 1973 a group of women founded a publishing company with a feminist mission in London and called it Virago Press. The writer and linguist Anthony Burgess was sympathetic to their cause but opined that they had done a poor job of choosing a name because virago has negative connotations. The ladies disagreed and a literary feud was commenced.

    In Burgess's understanding virago was roughly synonymous with harridan or termagant and the amazonian connotation intended by the publishing house was obscure and archaic. I see that dictionaries offer both conflicting definitions and that the older ones give prominence to the negative sense while newer (or more populist) dictionaries tend to feature the positive.

    While Burgess asserted affinity
    'Twixt virago and foul masculinity
    The ladies said, "Nay!
    We'll have it our way
    By defining our own viraginity."

    August 3, 2015

  • Masculine qualities in a woman (see virago).

    July 18, 2008

  • Deflowering by the alpha male.

    January 24, 2008