Wordsmith.Org


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ


This week's theme
Eponyms

This week's words
Beau Brummell
termagant
pleiad
Gordon Bennett
pasquinade
Make a gift that ...
keeps on giving,
all year long:
A gift subscription of AWAD
Discuss
Feedback
RSS/XML
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

termagant

PRONUNCIATION:
(TER-muh-guhnt)

MEANING:
noun: A quarrelsome or overbearing woman.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Old French Tervagant. The word comes from the name of an imaginary deity that Christians in medieval Europe erroneously believed was worshiped by Muslims. It was represented in morality plays as a violent, overbearing personage. Over time the term became generalized to apply to any brawling person, and eventually only to women.

USAGE:
"[Mrs. Lincoln], the wife of one of our most beloved presidents, has been characterized as a sharp-tongued termagant who made her husband's life miserable."
Larry Eskridge; The Tragedy of Mary Lincoln; The Daily Ledger (Canton, Illinois); May 16, 2009.

See more usage examples of termagant in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
All I ask is this: Do something. Try something. Speaking out, showing up, writing a letter, a check, a strongly worded e-mail. Pick a cause -- there are few unworthy ones. And nudge yourself past the brink of tacit support to action. Once a month, once a year, or just once. -Joss Whedon, writer and film director (b. 1964)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Sponsored by:

Give the Gift of Words

Share the magic of words. Send a gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day.

Anu on Words:
Writer Magazine
Globe & Mail

Interact:

Bulletin board
Wordsmith Talk

Moderated Chat
Wordsmith Chat

Readers' Voice
AWADmail

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 2014 Wordsmith