[ shroo-ish ]
See synonyms for shrewish on
  1. having the disposition of a shrew.

Origin of shrewish

Middle English word dating back to 1325–75; see origin at shrew1, -ish1

Other words from shrewish

  • shrew·ish·ly, adverb
  • shrew·ish·ness, noun
  • un·shrew·ish, adjective

Words Nearby shrewish Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use shrewish in a sentence

  • As played by Jessalyn Gilsig, Terri is “the shrewish, nagging wife from hell,” as Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune wrote.

    Glee's Harmful Simplicity | Andy Dehnart | May 17, 2010 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • I could have borne a shrewish tongue better, possibly because I could have answered it better.

    Rhoda Fleming, Complete | George Meredith
  • The door opens and his landlady—a shrewish, sharp faced woman of 40—appears.

    A Parody Outline of History | Donald Ogden Stewart
  • The baronet was a pale-faced, hunchback, lame creature, with a shrewish expression and a pair of brilliant grey eyes.

    The Pagan's Cup | Fergus Hume
  • She paused to take breath, and to look with shrewish triumph at the girl who leaned against the wall.

    Audrey | Mary Johnston
  • Yet with all this energy she is not shrewish, but a calm, grave woman, in much request in sick rooms or wherever there is trouble.

    George Eliot | Mathilde Blind

British Dictionary definitions for shrewish


/ (ˈʃruːɪʃ) /

  1. (esp of a woman) bad-tempered and nagging

Derived forms of shrewish

  • 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