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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.
    • Bale (1543)
      This terrible termagant, this Nero, this Pharaoh.
    • Macaulay
      The slave of an imperious and reckless termagant.


  • (quarrelsome woman): For semantic relationships of this term, see shrew in the Thesaurus.



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.