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 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, "A New Album Reflects a Composer’s Stubborn Versatility," 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, "'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.

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First Known Use of fishwife

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fishwife

Middle English

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Time Traveler for fishwife

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

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Cite this Entry

“Fishwife.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for fishwife



English Language Learners Definition of fishwife

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

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