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See more synonyms for shrewish on Thesaurus.com
  1. having the disposition of a shrew.
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Origin of shrewish

Middle English word dating back to 1325–75; see origin at shrew1, -ish1
Related formsshrew·ish·ly, adverbshrew·ish·ness, nounun·shrew·ish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


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

British Dictionary definitions for shrewish


  1. (esp of a woman) bad-tempered and nagging
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Derived Formsshrewishly, adverbshrewishness, 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

Word Origin and History for shrewish


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper