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termagant

[tur-muh-guh nt] /ˈtɜr mə gənt/
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
1175-1225; Middle English Termagaunt, earlier Tervagaunt, alteration of Old French Tervagan name of the imaginary deity
Related forms
termagantly, adverb
Synonyms
1. shrew, virago, harridan, scold.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for termagantly

termagant

/ˈtɜːməɡənt/
noun
1.
  1. a shrewish woman; scold
  2. (as modifier): a termagant woman
Derived Forms
termagancy, noun
termagantly, adverb
Word Origin
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
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 termagantly

termagant

n.

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 Old French Tervagant, a proper name in "Chanson de Roland" (c.1100), of uncertain origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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