Share this entry
harridan Line breaks: har¦ri|dan
Pronunciation: /ˈharɪd(ə)n/

Definition of harridan in English:


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
rare scold, Xanthippe


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

Definition of harridan in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Related Words