Share this entry

Share this page

harridan

Syllabification: har·ri·dan
Pronunciation: /ˈherəd(ə)n
 
/

Definition of harridan in English:

noun

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.
Synonyms
shrew, termagant, virago, harpy, vixen, nag, hag, crone, dragon, ogress;
fishwife, hellcat, she-devil, gorgon;
martinet, tartar
informal old bag, old bat, battle-ax, witch
archaic scold

Origin

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

Definition of harridan in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day sacerdotal
Pronunciation: ˌsasərˈdōtl
adjective
relating to priests or the priesthood; priestly