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dragon lady

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noun
  1. (often initial capital letters) a woman of somewhat sinister glamour often perceived as wielding ruthless or corrupt power.
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Origin of dragon lady

after the villainous Asian woman in the cartoon strip Terry and the Pirates (1934–1973) created by U.S. cartoonist Milton Caniff (born 1907)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Idioms and Phrases with dragon lady

dragon lady

A domineering or belligerent woman, as in They called her the neighborhood dragon lady—she was always yelling at the children. This slangy term was originally the name of a villainous Asian woman in Milton Caniff's popular cartoon strip Terry and the Pirates (1934–1973), which ran in many newspapers. It was transferred to more general use in the mid-1900s.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.