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ter·​ma·​gant ˈtər-mə-gənt How to pronounce termagant (audio)
capitalized : a deity erroneously ascribed to Islam by medieval European Christians and represented in early English drama as a violent character
: an overbearing or nagging woman : shrew


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Examples of termagant in a Sentence

Noun when she finally met her grandmother, she couldn't believe the sweet old lady was the same woman she'd heard all her life described as a termagant
Recent Examples on the Web
But the film belongs to Moreno, clearly relishing the chance to play an unapologetic termagant. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Mar. 2022 Rita may be a bossy termagant, but her adoring Beppe appears to love being whacked around from time to time, so what’s the harm? John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, 15 Apr. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'termagant.' 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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1546, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of termagant was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near termagant

Cite this Entry

“Termagant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/termagant. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
ter·​ma·​gant ˈtər-mə-gənt How to pronounce termagant (audio)
: a nagging woman


2 of 2 adjective
: noisily nagging
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