- a scolding, vicious woman; hag; shrew.
Origin of harridan
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for harridan
She was suddenly convinced there was no reason to play Martha as harridan.Liz Taylor's Secret Life
William J. Mann
October 19, 2009
I see—old offenders; oh, your humble servant, Mrs. Harridan!The Adventures of Roderick Random
Ye did not see her, nor know ye if she is old or young, harridan or angel.The Fair God
I have been all my days a dead hand at a harridan, I never saw the one yet that could resist me.The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 23 (of 25)
Robert Louis Stevenson
Though he did call Lady Eardham a harridan, he resolved that he would keep his promise for the following morning.Ralph the Heir
She was undeniably impressive, almost formidable, he conceded privately, with a touch of the shrew and harridan.A Traveler in Time
- a scolding old woman; nag
Word Origin and History for harridan
1700, "one that is half Whore, half Bawd" ["Dictionary of the Canting Crew"]; "a decayed strumpet" [Johnson], probably from French haridelle "a poore tit, or leane ill-favored jade," [Cotgrave, 1611], in French from 16c., of unknown origin.