shrew

noun
\ ˈshrü How to pronounce shrew (audio) , especially Southern ˈsrü \

Definition of shrew

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of a family (Soricidae) of small chiefly nocturnal insectivores related to the moles and distinguished by a long pointed snout, very small eyes, and short velvety fur
2 : an ill-tempered scolding woman

shrew

verb
shrewed; shrewing; shrews

Definition of shrew (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from shrew

Noun

shrewlike \ ˈshrü-​ˌlīk How to pronounce shrewlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of shrew in a Sentence

Noun Rip Van Winkle went off into the mountains to escape his wife, a shrew who made his life miserable.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Smith and paleontologist Kenneth Angielczyk turned instead to 16 hero shrew specimens already in the Field Museum’s collections. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Hero Shrews’ Extreme, Superstrong Backbones Are the Stuff of Legend," 30 Apr. 2020 The oldest mammals go back much further in time, and contrary to the standard story of shrew-like critters kept in check by monstrous reptiles, mammals thrived during Mesozoic era. Riley Black, Smithsonian, "Fossil Site Reveals How Mammals Thrived After the Death of the Dinosaurs," 25 Oct. 2019 But the disease does not appear to spread between horses; they are thought to acquire it from shrews, which can live in hay and secrete or excrete fluids containing the virus. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "Virus Spread by Shrews Linked to Human Deaths from Mysterious Brain Infections," 8 Jan. 2020 That difference of 40 degrees is significant in the life of voles and shrews and insects and plants. Anchorage Daily News, "Middle Alaska begins its transition to a quieter, snow-covered world," 12 Oct. 2019 Over 3 years, rats, shrews, and even frogs followed suit—more than 200,000 animals in all. David Grimm, Science | AAAS, "Our favorite science news stories of the decade," 20 Dec. 2019 As the chart shows, the biggest male-bias seen in the six largest orders of mammals (rodents, bats, shrews and their kin, carnivores, primates and artiodactyls) is in the artiodactyls. The Economist, "Museums’ animal collections favour males," 26 Oct. 2019 Though married to a terrible shrew, a man tries to figure out a way to be with his childhood sweetheart, who has just moved back into town. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 Point is: why do these men get to express anger and agitation for such trivial principles but the woman who built an entire campaign around fighting corruption gets to so easily be depicted as a shrew? Michael Arceneaux, Essence, "Only Sexist Men Take Issue With Elizabeth Warren’s Justified Anger," 14 Nov. 2019

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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shrew

Noun

Middle English shrewe evil or scolding person, from Old English scrēawa shrew (animal)

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Time Traveler for shrew

Time Traveler

The first known use of shrew was before the 12th century

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Statistics for shrew

Last Updated

7 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shrew.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shrew. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for shrew

shrew

noun
How to pronounce shrew (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shrew

: a small animal that looks like a mouse with a long, pointed nose
old-fashioned : an unpleasant, bad-tempered woman

shrew

noun
\ ˈshrü How to pronounce shrew (audio) \

Kids Definition of shrew

1 : a small mouselike animal with a long pointed snout and tiny eyes that lives mostly on insects and worms
2 : an unpleasant woman with a bad temper

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More from Merriam-Webster on shrew

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shrew

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shrew

Spanish Central: Translation of shrew

Nglish: Translation of shrew for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shrew for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about shrew

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