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virago

[vi-rah-goh, -rey-]
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noun, plural vi·ra·goes, vi·ra·gos.
  1. a loud-voiced, ill-tempered, scolding woman; shrew.
  2. Archaic. a woman of strength or spirit.

Origin of virago

before 1000; Middle English, Old English < Latin virāgō, equivalent to vir man + -āgō suffix expressing association of some kind, here resemblance

Synonyms

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1. scold, nag, termagant, harpy, Xanthippe.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for virago

Historical Examples

  • He would have crimsoned to the eyes, no doubt, and fled from the virago.

    Way of the Lawless

    Max Brand

  • I got a dispatch from, him quoting the Virago of Paris—meaning the Figaro, of course.

  • Ah, you coolly come, with that virago on your arm, to make a fool of me before everyone.

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola

  • When he returned he found the virago awaiting him at the door.

  • On which the virago says to her victim, "My dear, I thocht it was yersel'!"

    The Book-Hunter

    John Hill Burton


British Dictionary definitions for virago

virago

noun plural -goes or -gos
  1. a loud, violent, and ill-tempered woman; scold; shrew
  2. archaic a strong, brave, or warlike woman; amazon
Derived Formsviraginous (vɪˈrædʒɪnəs), adjectivevirago-like, adjective

Word Origin

Old English, from Latin: a manlike maiden, from vir a man
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

Word Origin and History for virago

n.

late 14c., "man-like or heroic woman," from Latin virago, from vir "man" (see virile). Ælfric (c.1000), following Vulgate, used it in Gen. ii:23 (KJV = woman):

Beo hire nama Uirago, þæt is, fæmne, forðan ðe heo is of hire were genumen.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper