[vi-rah-goh, -rey-]

noun, plural vi·ra·goes, vi·ra·gos.

a loud-voiced, ill-tempered, scolding woman; shrew.
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 for virago Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for virago

shrew, vixen, scold, harpy, termagant, beldame, amazon, fishwife

Examples from the Web for virago

Historical Examples of virago

British Dictionary definitions for virago


noun plural -goes or -gos

a loud, violent, and ill-tempered woman; scold; shrew
archaic a strong, brave, or warlike woman; amazon
Derived Formsviraginous (vɪˈrædʒɪnəs), adjectivevirago-like, adjective

Word Origin for virago

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

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