Definition of harridan in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈharɪd(ə)n/


A strict, bossy, or belligerent old woman: a bullying old harridan
More example sentences
  • By the 1940s, the mists of time had warped his vision to a few breast-plated harridans, some fire-breathing dragons and a liberal scattering of live animals.
  • She has been sitting there, chewing gum, and screaming like an old harridan.
  • In many ways I only have myself to blame for the centuries old convention of typecasting Jewish mothers as bossy, interfering, complaining, manipulating harridans who make the lives of all around them equal parts gluttony and misery.
shrew, virago, harpy, termagant, vixen, nag, hag, crone, dragon, ogress;
fishwife, hellcat, she-devil, fury, gorgon, martinet, tartar, spitfire
informal old bag, old bat, old trout, old cow, bitch, battleaxe, witch
Scottish & Northern Irish informal targe
rare scold, Xanthippe


Late 17th century (originally slang): perhaps from French haridelle 'old horse'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: har¦ri|dan

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