• WordNet 3.6
    • n shrew small mouselike mammal with a long snout; related to moles
    • n shrew a scolding nagging bad-tempered woman
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In all of Shakespeare's works and excluding Roman numerals only one word begins with the letter "X." Xanthippe, the wife of Socrates, appears in The Taming of the Shrew.
    • Shrew (Zoöl) Any small insectivore of the genus Sorex and several allied genera of the family Sorecidæ. 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.
    • Shrew Originally, a brawling, turbulent, vexatious person of either sex, but now restricted in use to females; a brawler; a scold. "A man . . . grudgeth that shrews i. e., bad men] have prosperity, or else that good men have adversity.""A man had got a shrew to his wife, and there could be no quiet in the house for her."
    • v. t Shrew To beshrew; to curse. "I shrew myself."
    • a Shrew Wicked; malicious.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The pigmy shrew a relative of the mole is the smallest mammal in North America. It weighs 1/14 ounce less than a dime.
    • n shrew A wicked or evil person; a malignant person.
    • n shrew A woman of a perverse, violent, or malignant temper; a scold; a termagant.
    • n shrew An evil thing; a great danger.
    • n shrew A planet of evil or malignant aspect or influence.
    • shrew Wicked; evil; ill-natured; unkind.
    • shrew To make evil; deprave.
    • shrew To curse; beshrew.
    • n shrew A small insectivorous mammal of the genus Sorex or family Soricidæ; a shrew-mouse. They are all small, greatly resembling mice in size, form, color, and general appearance (whence the name shrew-mouse), but belong to a different order(Insectivora. not Rodentia). They may be distinguished at a glance by the long sharp snout. They are widely distributed, chiefly in the northern hemisphers, and the species are numerous, of several different genera, particularly Sorex, which contains more than any other. The little animals are very voracious, and devour great quantities of insects and worms; but there is no foundation in fact for the vulgar notion that shrews are poisonous, or for any other of the popular superstitions respecting these harmless little creatures. The shrews have usually a musky odor, due to the secretion of some special subcutaneous glands with which they are provided, and in some of the larger kinds this scent is very strong. Among the shrews are the most diminutive of all mammals, with the head and body less than 2 inches long; others are two or three times as large as this. The common shrew of Europe is Sorex vulgaris. The commonest in the United States is a large short tailed species, Blarina brevicauda. The teeth of shrews are generally chestnut or reddish-black, but some shrews are white-toothed, as those of the genus Crocidura; some are aquatic, as the oared or oar-footed shrew, Crossopus fodiens of Europe, and Neosorex palustris of North America. The name is extended, with a qualifying term, to related animals of a different family, as the shrew-moles and desmans. See shrew-mole, elephant shrew, marsh-shrew, mole-shrew, musk-shrew. squirrel-shrew, water-shrew, and cuts under Blarina, desman, Petrodromus, Ptilocercus, Rhynchocyon, and Tupaia.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Elephants and short-tailed shrews get by on only two hours of sleep a day.
    • n Shrew shrōō a brawling, troublesome woman: a scold: a family of insectivorous mammals closely resembling, in general form and appearance, the true mice and dormice—the head long, muzzle long and pointed
    • ***


  • Washington Irving
    “Those men are most apt to be obsequious and conciliating abroad, who are under the discipline of shrews at home.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. screáwa,; -- so called because supposed to be venomous. ]
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. screáwa, a shrew-mouse, its bite having been supposed venomous; cf. Ger. scher-maus, a mole.


In literature:

His domestic life was not happy, his wife, Xantippe, being a noted shrew.
"History of Education" by Levi Seeley
You'll be just the sort of long-tongued shrew, always arguing, that men hate.
"The Beth Book" by Sarah Grand
Damn you, you shrew .
"Tartuffe" by Jean-Baptiste Poquelin Moliere
I pity any man who is tied to that shrew for life.
"Penshurst Castle" by Emma Marshall
Everybody hath spoiled me, and I am a shrew.
"A Little Girl in Old Philadelphia" by Amanda Minnie Douglas
Even Anne's Mrs. Masham was not a shining personality, and her Sarah of Marlborough was only a brilliant shrew.
"Imaginary Interviews" by W. D. Howells
A plague on the shrew and on her pudding!
"The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault" by Charles Perrault
Brighteye soon became aware of the fact that some of the habits of the shrew were entirely different from his own.
"Creatures of the Night" by Alfred W. Rees
The spirit of Marguerite was now roused, and all the powers of Europe could not tame the shrew.
"Henry IV, Makers of History" by John S. C. Abbott
Stanley R. Avery's overture to "The Taming of the Shrew" produced by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
"Annals of Music in America" by Henry Charles Lahee

In poetry:

Let her, whom thou'rt resolv'd to court,
Be of good life and good report —
Her temper mild — her words be few;
Worse than a scorpion is a shrew!
"Advice To A Young Man, Before He Goes A Courting" by Rees Prichard
If thou hast hir'd a maid that is a shrew,
And does not honour to her mistress pay,
The door to her, as 'twas to Hagar, shew,
And let thy wife have, as she ought, her way.
"Advice To Ev'ry Master Of A Family, To Govern His House In A Religious Manner" by Rees Prichard
Rigged poker -stiff on her back
With a granite grin
This antique museum-cased lady
Lies, companioned by the gimcrack
Relics of a mouse and a shrew
That battened for a day on her ankle-bone.
"All The Dead Dears" by Sylvia Plath

In news:

Woman's Will Presents 'Taming of the Shrew .
"We've been talking about doing it since our first year," said Erin Merritt of Woman's Will's production of The Taming of the Shrew .
Tiny Tree Shrew Is World's Heaviest Drinker.
Tiny tree shrew can drink you under the table.
The shrew lives in the forest of Malaysia and feeds on the flowers of the bertam palm.
A ' Shrew ' That's Tamed But Wildly Entertaining.
Sarah Fallon, The Taming of the Shrew , Colorado Shakespeare Festival.
Fossilized shrew could be ancient human kin.
Ballet Austin dancers Jaime Lynn Witts, Jordan Moser, James Fuller and Christopher Swaim rehearse for 'The Taming of the Shrew .
Robert Aubry Davis, Jane Horwitz and Trey Graham discuss The Taming of the Shrew at Folger Theatre through June 10.
"The Taming of the Shrew" Meets The Spaghetti Western .
In repertory, July 17-Aug 29: "The Taming of the Shrew".
Amazingly, though the tree shrew s drink like fish, they don't seem to get drunk.
Most people would only consider eating a whole shrew, hair and skeleton and all, on a dare, and probably for money.
Above, George Maffei, at far left, perform's in a King's College Theater production of 'Taming of the Shrew'.

In science:

Evol. 35: 17-31. Robinson, T.J., B. Fu, M.A. Ferguson-Smith, and F. Yang. (2004). Cross-species chromosome painting in the golden mole and elephant-shrew: support for the mammalian clades Afrotheria and Afroinsectiphillia but not Afroinsectivora.
Measuring Fit of Sequence Data to Phylogenetic Model: Gain of Power using Marginal Tests