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[shroo-ish] /ˈʃru ɪʃ/
having the disposition of a shrew.
Origin of shrewish
Middle English word dating back to 1325-75; See origin at shrew1, -ish1
Related forms
shrewishly, adverb
shrewishness, noun
unshrewish, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for shrewish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But that same reseit, iff your Honner so please, to cure a shrewish wife.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Do they not sometimes get called waspish and shrewish by virtue of their very chastity?

  • Look at her—isn't it awfully good—just like a shrewish woman.

    The Rainbow D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • A lackey—That is Jeppe on the Hill, who has the shrewish wife.

    Jeppe on the Hill Ludvig Holberg
  • He gets the hottest tea and the nicest morsels from the shrewish woman.


    James Huneker
  • Puppet to a father's threat and servile to a mother's shrewish tongue.

    Flowers of Freethought George W. Foote
  • Even the forewoman, who was thin-lipped and shrewish, seemed a little afraid of her.

    The Beggar Man Ruby Mildred Ayres
  • Show her the curse of a shrewish temper, and the blessing of cheerfulness.

    Thelma Marie Corelli
  • Just now, a coating of lather covered his shrewish underjaw.

    The Blue Pavilions

    Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
British Dictionary definitions for shrewish


(esp of a woman) bad-tempered and nagging
Derived Forms
shrewishly, adverb
shrewishness, noun
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 shrewish

late 14c., "wicked, malignant," from shrew + -ish. Of women, "malignant and scolding," from 1560s. Related: Shrewishly; shrewishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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