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harridan

[hahr-i-dn] /ˈhɑr ɪ dn/
noun
1.
a scolding, vicious woman; hag; shrew.
Origin
1690-1700
1690-1700; perhaps alteration of French haridelle thin, worn-out horse, large, gaunt woman (compared with the initial element of haras stud farm, though derivation is unclear)
Synonyms
nag, virago, scold.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for harridan
  • Ann is a shrill, sarcastic harridan who has nothing pleasant to say as she makes her way to the gin bottle in the office bar.
  • She's a harridan of a manager-ripping through the staff, sacking many old stalwarts, and slashing operating costs.
  • Eddie is warmed by her sporty friendliness, especially in contrast to the harridan convalescing in his hotel bedroom.
British Dictionary definitions for harridan

harridan

/ˈhærɪdən/
noun
1.
a scolding old woman; nag
Word Origin
C17: of uncertain origin; perhaps related to French haridelle, literally: broken-down horse; of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for harridan
harridan
1700, "one that is half Whore, half Bawd" ["Dictionary of the Canting Crew"]; "a decayed strumpet" [Johnson], from Fr. haridelle "a poore tit, or leane ill-favored jade," [Cotgrave, 1611], in Fr. from 16c., of unknown origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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