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[shroo-ish] /ˈʃru ɪʃ/
having the disposition of a shrew.
Origin of shrewish
1325-75; Middle English; see shrew1, -ish1
Related forms
shrewishly, adverb
shrewishness, noun
unshrewish, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for shrewish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The man went, and, in a matter-of-fact way, tied up the shrewish beauty.

  • But that same reseit, iff your Honner so please, to cure a shrewish wife.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • She is described as being without beauty and portion, and, worse still, she was of a shrewish temper.

    Old Church Lore William Andrews
  • A lackey—That is Jeppe on the Hill, who has the shrewish wife.

    Jeppe on the Hill Ludvig Holberg
  • Even the forewoman, who was thin-lipped and shrewish, seemed a little afraid of her.

    The Beggar Man Ruby Mildred Ayres
  • Show her the curse of a shrewish temper, and the blessing of cheerfulness.

    Thelma Marie Corelli
  • His wife, a shrewish little woman with a snappy manner, bridled up indignantly.

    John Marsh's Millions Charles Klein
  • Just now, a coating of lather covered his shrewish underjaw.

    The Blue Pavilions Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • His nerves gave a sudden thrill as a shrewish voice from an adjacent room, squealed out, "Are you there, Pether?"

    The Bunsby papers John Brougham
British Dictionary definitions for shrewish


(esp of a woman) bad-tempered and nagging
Derived Forms
shrewishly, adverb
shrewishness, noun
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 shrewish

late 14c., "wicked, malignant," from shrew + -ish. Of women, "malignant and scolding," from 1560s. Related: Shrewishly; shrewishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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