I. noun Etymology: Middle English Date: 13th century 1. capitalized a deity erroneously ascribed to Islam by medieval European Christians and represented in early English drama as a violent character 2. an overbearing or nagging woman ; shrew II. adjective Date: circa 1598 overbearing, shrewish

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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  • Termagant — Ter ma*gant, n. [OE. Trivigant, Termagant, Termagant (in sense 1), OF. Tervagan; cf. It. Trivigante.] 1. An imaginary being supposed by the Christians to be a Mohammedan deity or false god. He is represented in the ancient moralities, farces, and …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Termagant — Ter ma*gant, a. Tumultuous; turbulent; boisterous; furious; quarrelsome; scolding. {Ter ma*gant*ly}, adv. [1913 Webster] A termagant, imperious, prodigal, profligate wench. Arbuthnot. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • termagant — [tʉr′mə gənt] n. [ME Tervagant < OFr, name of an imaginary Muslim deity prob. introduced by the Crusaders] 1. [T ] an imaginary deity supposed by medieval Christians to be worshiped by Muslims and represented in morality plays as a boisterous …   English World dictionary

  • termagant — (n.) c.1500, violent, overbearing person (especially of women), from Teruagant, Teruagaunt (c.1200), name of a fictitious Muslim deity appearing in medieval morality plays, from O.Fr. Tervagant, a proper name in Chanson de Roland (c.1100), of… …   Etymology dictionary

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

  • termagant — ► NOUN ▪ a bad tempered or overbearing woman. ORIGIN originally denoting a violent imaginary deity often appearing in medieval morality plays: from Italian Trivagante thrice wandering …   English terms dictionary

  • Termagant — In Medieval Europe, Termagant was the name given to a god supposedly worshiped by Muslims.Origin of the conceptEuropean literature from the Middle Ages often referred to Muslims as pagans, or by sobriquets such as the paynim foe . These… …   Wikipedia

  • Termagant — Tervagant (auch: Termagant) war in der mittelalterlichen europäischen Literatur der Name einer angeblichen muslimischen Gottheit. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Ursprünge 2 Tervagant in der Literatur 3 „Termagant“ als zänkisches Weib 4 Andere… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • termagant — UK [ˈtɜː(r)məɡənt] / US [ˈtɜrməɡənt] noun [countable] Word forms termagant : singular termagant plural termagants literary a woman who is always arguing and fighting …   English dictionary

  • termagant — [ tə:məg(ə)nt] noun 1》 a harsh tempered or overbearing woman. 2》 (Termagant) historical an imaginary deity of violent and turbulent character, often appearing in morality plays. Origin ME: via OFr. from Ital. Trivagante, taken to be from L. tri… …   English new terms dictionary

  • termagant — noun (C) literary a noisy woman who often quarrels with people termagant adjective …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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