Simple Definition of virago
: an angry woman who often complains about and criticizes other people
Examples of virago in a sentence
<fairy tales that typically portray stepmothers as viragoes>
Did You Know?
The original Latin meaning of virago was "female warrior". But in later centuries the meaning shifted toward the negative. The most famous virago in English literature is the ferocious Kate in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Some historical viragoes have also become famous. Agrippina poisoned her husband, the Emperor Claudius, so that her son Nero could take his place (but it was Nero himself who eventually had her assassinated). And Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, a powerful virago of the 12th century, was imprisoned by her husband, King Henry II of England, after she encouraged their sons to rebel against him. Today some people are beginning to use virago admiringly again.
Origin and Etymology of virago
Middle English, from Latin viragin-, virago, from vir man — more at virile
First Known Use: 14th century
Seen and Heard
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