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Word of the Day
Sunday, June 01, 2008

Definitions for harridan

  1. A worn-out strumpet; a vixenish woman; a hag.

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Citations for harridan
With the insight of hindsight, I'd have liked to have been able to protect my mother from the domineering old harridan, with her rough tongue and primitive sense of justice, but I did not see it like that, then. Angela Carter, Shaking a Leg
Whatever compassion we may feel towards Seraphie, charged with managing the Beyle household and provided with little in the way of emotional or material recompense, evidence scarcely softens Stendhal's portrait of an ignorant, vindictive, mean-spirited harridan. Jonathan Keates, Stendhal
Origin of harridan
1690-1700
Harridan probably comes from French haridelle, "a worn-out horse, a gaunt woman."