fish·​wife ˈfish-ˌwīf How to pronounce fishwife (audio)
: a woman who sells fish
: a vulgar abusive woman

Examples of fishwife in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In addition to Brecht’s typical didacticism, there is a haunting passage for a fishwife whose son died in one of Lucullus’s campaigns. Seth Colter Walls, New York Times, 8 Apr. 2020 An old fishwife sees a lobster try to escape and whacks it back in with her net. Casey Quackenbush / Hong Kong, Time, 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, 13 Mar. 2017 A Canadian waitress who swears like a fishwife goes on holiday to Boracay. Simon Winchester, New York Times, 1 June 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fishwife.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near fishwife

Cite this Entry

“Fishwife.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

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