shrew1

[shroo] /ʃru/
noun
1.
a woman of violent temper and speech; termagant.
Origin
1200–50; Middle English; special use of shrew2
Related forms
shrewlike, adjective
Synonyms
virago, nag, scold.

shrew2

[shroo] /ʃru/
noun
1.
any of several small, mouselike insectivores of the genus Sorex and related genera, having a long, sharp snout.
Origin
before 900; Middle English (only in compounds), Old English scrēawa
Example Sentences for shrew
And then you have to be careful not to come off as the shrew or the heavy.
The gardens would not be all that this shrew notices.
It's clear that he will never accept that she's an evil, manipulative shrew.
British Dictionary definitions for shrew
shrew (ʃruː)
 
n
1.  See also water shrew Also called: shrewmouse any small mouse-like long-snouted mammal, such as Sorex araneus (common shrew), of the family Soricidae: order Insectivora (insectivores)Related: soricine
2.  a bad-tempered or mean-spirited woman
 
Related: soricine
 
[Old English scrēawa; related to Old High German scrawaz dwarf, Icelandic skröggr old man, Norwegian skrugg dwarf]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin and History for shrew
shrew
"small mammal," O.E. screawa "shrew-mouse," unknown outside English, perhaps from P.Gmc. *skreu- "to cut" (see shred). Alternative O.E. word for it was scirfemus, from sceorfan "to gnaw." The meaning "peevish, malignant, clamorous, spiteful, vexatious, turbulent woman" [Johnson] is late 14c., from earlier sense of "spiteful person" (male or female), mid-13c., traditionally said to derive from some supposed malignant influence of the animal, which was once believed to have a venomous bite and was held in superstitious dread. Shrewish "scolding" is from 1560s, originally "wicked, evil" (late 14c.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Rhymes with shrew

Difficulty index for shrew

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11
10
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