har·​ri·​dan | \ ˈher-ə-dən How to pronounce harridan (audio) , ˈha-rə-\

Definition of harridan

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Examples of harridan in a Sentence

if you were married to that harridan, you, too, would take to drink

Recent Examples on the Web

Still, for a generation brought up to smile in the face of almost any affront or risk being tarred as a harridan, older women’s indignation seems ripe for reassessment. New York Times, "They’re Mad as Hell," 30 July 2019 Surely Socrates, married to that many-years-younger harridan Xanthippe, would be in line for a Nobel. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, "Your Spouse Is No Prize? Maybe You Deserve a Nobel," 11 May 2018 Better yet, the pervasive myth that women become shriveled harridans after 30 couldn’t be further from the truth. Alana Massey, SELF, "5 Surprisingly Awesome Differences Between Dating in My 30s and 20s," 19 Dec. 2017 The praise was largely glowing for Janney’s turn as Tonya Harding’s mother, LaVona Golden, a harridan with a sharp tongue and, at times, a parakeet on her shoulder. Richard Lawson, HWD, "How the Oscar Race Looks After the Toronto International Film Festival," 15 Sep. 2017 As the dispossessed Queen Margaret, whose prophetic curses haunt the play, Ms. Redgrave is not the usual shrieking harridan but a bone-weary old woman, whose madness is steeped in a quiet, blisteringly bitter fatalism. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Our Chief Theater Critic Is in London and Wants to Hear From You JULY 27, 2016," 1 Aug. 2016 Fricka, Wotan’s wife, sung with molten tone by Jamie Barton, isn’t the traditional harridan, but sober and wounded. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, "Review: The Philharmonic Makes Wagner’s Gods Chillingly Human," 2 June 2017 At Goodspeed, Kristine Zbornik, as Albert’s comic harridan of a smothering matriarch, just about stops the show with her rendition. Sylviane Gold, New York Times, "Review: A Farewell Kiss, in Changing Times," 12 Aug. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'harridan.' 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 harridan

1678, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for harridan

perhaps modification of French haridelle old horse, gaunt woman

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Dictionary Entries near harridan







harrier eagle

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Last Updated

5 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for harridan

The first known use of harridan was in 1678

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English Language Learners Definition of harridan

old-fashioned + literary : an angry and unpleasant woman

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to spread over or through

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