A strict, bossy, or belligerent old woman.‘a bullying old harridan’
shrew, virago, harpy, termagant, vixen, nag, hag, crone, dragon, ogressView synonyms
- ‘By the 1940s, the mists of time had warped his vision to a few breast-plated harridans, some fire-breathing dragons and a liberal scattering of live animals.’
- ‘She has been sitting there, chewing gum, and screaming like an old harridan.’
- ‘They were both men who stayed with and took care of fairly unstable women who could be utterly charming and loveable on one side and frightening harridans on the other.’
- ‘I think I am this nice, gentle person but everyone, including my best friends, tells me I am a horrible harridan who frightens people.’
Late 17th century (originally slang): perhaps from French haridelle ‘old horse’.
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