harridan

[hahr-i-dn]

noun

a scolding, vicious woman; hag; shrew.

RELATED WORDS


Nearby words

  1. harpy eagle,
  2. harquebus,
  3. harquebusier,
  4. harrar,
  5. harrer,
  6. harrier,
  7. harriet,
  8. harrietta,
  9. harriman,
  10. harriman, edward henry

Origin of harridan

1690–1700; perhaps alteration of French haridelle thin, worn-out horse, large, gaunt woman (compared with the initial element of haras stud farm, though derivation is unclear)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for harridan


British Dictionary definitions for harridan

harridan

noun

a scolding old woman; nag

Word Origin for harridan

C17: of uncertain origin; perhaps related to French haridelle, literally: broken-down horse; of obscure origin

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 harridan

harridan

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper