fish·​wife | \ ˈfish-ˌwīf How to pronounce fishwife (audio) \

Definition of fishwife

1 : a woman who sells fish
2 : a vulgar abusive woman

Examples of fishwife in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An old fishwife sees a lobster try to escape and whacks it back in with her net. Casey Quackenbush / Hong Kong, Time, "'We're Not Educated.' The Untold Story of Lung King Heen, the World's First Michelin Three-Star Chinese Restaurant," 12 July 2018 The latest environmental measure that has people grumbling is a two-year ban on fishing for omul, a smoked delicacy hawked by fishwives all around the lake. Neil Macfarquhar, New York Times, "A Russian Lake’s Future Hangs on Tourists and Toilets," 13 Mar. 2017 A Canadian waitress who swears like a fishwife goes on holiday to Boracay. Simon Winchester, New York Times, "Hollywood: ‘Stanley Kubrick and Me,’ and More," 1 June 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fishwife.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of fishwife

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fishwife

Middle English

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fishwife

Time Traveler for fishwife

Time Traveler

The first known use of fishwife was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for fishwife

Cite this Entry

“Fishwife.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Apr. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fishwife


How to pronounce fishwife (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fishwife

: a woman who sells fish
: a rude and rough woman

More from Merriam-Webster on fishwife

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fishwife

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fishwife

Comments on fishwife

What made you want to look up fishwife? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!