Shrew Shrew, n. [See {Shrew}, a.] 1. Originally, a brawling, turbulent, vexatious person of either sex, but now restricted in use to females; a brawler; a scold. [1913 Webster]

A man . . . grudgeth that shrews [i. e., bad men] have prosperity, or else that good men have adversity. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

A man had got a shrew to his wife, and there could be no quiet in the house for her. --L'Estrange. [1913 Webster]

2. [AS. scre['a]wa; -- so called because supposed to be venomous. ] (Zo["o]l.) Any small insectivore of the genus {Sorex} and several allied genera of the family {Sorecid[ae]}. In form and color they resemble mice, but they have a longer and more pointed nose. Some of them are the smallest of all mammals. [1913 Webster]

Note: The common European species are the house shrew ({Crocidura araneus}), and the erd shrew ({Sorex vulgaris}) (see under {Erd}.). In the United States several species of {Sorex} and {Blarina} are common, as the broadnosed shrew ({S. platyrhinus}), Cooper's shrew ({S. Cooperi}), and the short-tailed, or mole, shrew ({Blarina brevicauda}). Th American water, or marsh, shrew ({Neosorex palustris}), with fringed feet, is less common. The common European water shrews are {Crossopus fodiens}, and the oared shrew (see under {Oared}). [1913 Webster]

{Earth shrew}, any shrewlike burrowing animal of the family {Centetid[ae]}, as the tendrac.

{Elephant shrew}, {Jumping shrew}, {Mole shrew}. See under {Elephant}, {Jumping}, etc.

{Musk shrew}. See {Desman}.

{River shrew}, an aquatic West African insectivore ({Potamogale velox}) resembling a weasel in form and size, but having a large flattened and crested tail adapted for rapid swimming. It feeds on fishes.

{Shrew mole}, a common large North American mole ({Scalops aquaticus}). Its fine, soft fur is gray with iridescent purple tints. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Shrew — Shrew, v. t. [See {Shrew}, a., and cf. {Beshrew}.] To beshrew; to curse. [Obs.] I shrew myself. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Shrew — Shrew, a. [OE. shrewe, schrewe. Cf. {Shrewd}.] Wicked; malicious. [Obs.] Chaucer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shrew — small mammal, O.E. screawa shrew mouse, unknown outside English, perhaps from P.Gmc. *skreu to cut (see SHRED (Cf. shred)). Alternative O.E. word for it was scirfemus, from sceorfan to gnaw. The meaning peevish, malignant, clamorous, spiteful,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • shrew — [ʃru:] n [: Old English; Origin: screawa] 1.) a very small animal like a mouse with a long pointed nose 2.) old fashioned an unpleasant woman who always argues and disagrees with people …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • shrew — [ ʃru ] noun count 1. ) a small animal that looks like a mouse with a pointed nose 2. ) OLD FASHIONED an insulting word for a woman who always complains, argues, or NAGS …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • shrew — scold, vixen, termagant, *virago, amazon …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • shrew — ► NOUN 1) a small insect eating mammal resembling a mouse, with a long pointed snout and tiny eyes. 2) a bad tempered or aggressively assertive woman. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • shrew — [shro͞o] n. [ME schrewe, a malicious person < OE screawa, shrewmouse, akin to OHG scrawaz, dwarf, goblin, MHG schröuwel, devil < IE * (s)ker : see SHRED] 1. any of a number of small, slender, mouselike insectivore mammals (esp. family… …   English World dictionary

  • shrew — shrew1 shrewlike, adj. /shrooh/, n. a woman of violent temper and speech; termagant. [1200 50; ME; special use of SHREW2] Syn. virago, nag, scold. shrew2 /shrooh/, n. any of several small, mouselike insectivores of the genus Sorex and related… …   Universalium

  • Shrew — Taxobox name = ShrewsMSW3 Hutterer | pages = 223 300] fossil range = Middle Eocene to Recent image width = 250px image caption = Southern Short tailed Shrew regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia ordo = Soricomorpha familia =… …   Wikipedia

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