termagant

termagant

[tur-muh-guhnt]
noun
1.
a violent, turbulent, or brawling woman.
2.
(initial capital letter) a mythical deity popularly believed in the Middle Ages to be worshiped by the Muslims and introduced into the morality play as a violent, overbearing personage in long robes.
adjective
3.
violent; turbulent; brawling; shrewish.

Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English Termagaunt, earlier Tervagaunt, alteration of Old French Tervagan name of the imaginary deity

termagantly, adverb


1. shrew, virago, harridan, scold.
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World English Dictionary
termagant (ˈtɜːməɡənt)
 
n
a.  a shrewish woman; scold
 b.  (as modifier): a termagant woman
 
[C13: from earlier Tervagaunt, from Old French Tervagan, from Italian Trivigante; after an arrogant character in medieval mystery plays who was supposed to be a Muslim deity]
 
'termagancy
 
n
 
'termagantly
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

termagant
c.1500, "violent, overbearing person" (especially of women), from Teruagant, Teruagaunt (c.1200), name of a fictitious Muslim deity appearing in medieval morality plays, from O.Fr. Tervagant, a proper name in "Chanson de Roland" (c.1100), of uncertain origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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