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See also: Termagant


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Alternative forms[edit]


From Termagant.



termagant (plural termagants)

  1. A quarrelsome, scolding woman, especially one who is old and shrewish.
    • 1663, Hudibras, by Samuel Butler, part 1, canto 2
      [...] Make feeble ladies, in their works, / To fight like termagants and Turks; [...]
    • 1907, Isaac Flagg, Plato: the Apology and Crito, page 196:
      The name of Xanthippe, the wife of Socrates, has become proverbial for a termagant.
    • 1970, Robertson Davies, Fifth Business:
      Easier divorce, equal pay for equal work as between men and women, no discrimination between the sexes in employment – these were her causes, and in promoting them she was no comic-strip feminist termagant, but reasonable, logical, and untiring.
  2. (obsolete) A boisterous, brawling, turbulent person, whether male or female.
    • 1903, [unknown translator], Monsieur Lecoq (originally by Émile Gaboriau)
      At first the General tried to impose silence upon the terrible termagant: but he soon discovered that he was powerless
    • 1849–1861, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 15, in The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volume (please specify |volume=I to V), London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, →OCLC:
      The slave of an imperious and reckless termagant.
    • 1980, Bernard MacLaverty, 'Lamb' (novel), (Chapter 6, at page 50 in the 1981 King Penguin paperback edition):
      "Mrs Kane has been filling us in on some background information on Owen." The woman nodded, drumming her nicotined fingers. "And I have been assuring her that the boys who arrive here thimbleriggers and termagants are the least of our worries. But we do not send them out that way. Do we, Brother?"




termagant (comparative more termagant, superlative most termagant)

  1. Quarrelsome and scolding or censorious; shrewish.
    • 1993, Anthony Burgess, A Dead Man in Deptford:
      These bishops with their termagant wives throw the book at us and say believe because I demand belief and by God I will burn or hang and quarter you if you do not.