A shrew (def. 1)



  • Any of numerous small, mouselike, chiefly nocturnal, mammals of the family Soricidae (order Soricomorpha).
  • Certain other small mammals that resemble true shrews (order Soricomorpha).
  • An ill-tempered, nagging woman: a scold.



Similar words

Narrower meaning words


  • From Middle English *schrewe, from Old English sċrēawa, from Proto-Germanic *skrawwaz, from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker-. Cognates include Old High German scrawaz, Norwegian skrugg.
  • From Middle English schrewen, from Middle English schrewe, schrowe, screwe, from Old English *scrēawa. Perhaps ultimately from the same word as Etymology 1 above.

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