Definition of shrew in English:

shrew

Syllabification: shrew
Pronunciation: /SHro͞o
 
/

noun

  • 1A small mouselike insectivorous mammal with a long pointed snout and tiny eyes.
    • Family Soricidae: many genera, in particular Sorex and Crocidura, and numerous species
    More example sentences
    • Several small mammals live in the park - genets, shrews, hedgehogs and mongooses.
    • With the zoo's high densities of rodents (deer mice, white-footed mice, house mice, shrews, moles, and Norway rats), a relatively high density of rodent predators could be achieved.
    • Foxes, rabbits, harvest mice, house mice, dormice, shrews, weasels, and voles all depend on the hedgerows as a place to breed, hunt or shelter.
  • 2A bad-tempered or aggressively assertive woman.
    More example sentences
    • Socrates was married, you know, and his wife, Xanthippe, was a shrew.
    • Now, with this Ann doll, you can start training those young girls at an early age to become bigoted shrews!
    • He was perhaps more in love with the study of philosophy than with his family - that his wife Xanthippe was shrew is a later tale.
    Synonyms
    virago, dragon, termagant, fishwife, witch, tartar, hag
    informal battle-ax, old bag, old bat
    archaic scold

Origin

Old English scrēawa, scrǣwa, of Germanic origin; related words in Germanic languages have senses such as 'dwarf', 'devil', or 'fox'.

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