a virago; shrew.

Origin of brimstone

before 1150; Middle English brinston, etc., late Old English brynstān. See burn1, stone
Related formsbrim·ston·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of brimstone

British Dictionary definitions for brimstone



an obsolete name for sulphur
a common yellow butterfly, Gonepteryx rhamni, of N temperate regions of the Old World: family Pieridae
archaic a scolding nagging woman; virago

Word Origin for brimstone

Old English brynstān; related to Old Norse brennistein; see burn 1, stone
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 brimstone

Old English brynstan, from brin- stem of brinnen "to burn" (see burn (v.)) + stan (see stone (n.)). In Middle English the first element also recorded as brem-, brom-, brum-, bren-, brin-, bron-, brun-, bern-, born-, burn-, burned-, and burnt-. Formerly "the mineral sulfur," now restricted to biblical usage.

The Lord reynede vpon Sodom and Gomor brenstoon and fier. [Wycliff's rendition (1382) of Gen. xix:24]

The Old Norse cognate compound brennusteinn meant "amber," as does German Bernstein.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper