Definitions for viragovɪˈrɑ goʊ, -ˈreɪ-
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word virago
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
vi•ra•govɪˈrɑ goʊ, -ˈreɪ-(n.)(pl.)-goes, -gos.
a loud-voiced, ill-tempered, scolding woman; shrew.
Archaic. a woman of strength or spirit.
Origin of virago:
bef. 1000; ME, OE < L virāgō=vir man +-āgō suffix expressing association of some kind, here resemblance
a noisy or scolding or domineering woman
a large strong and aggressive woman
(said of a woman) Given to undue belligerence or ill manner at the slightest provocation; a shrew, a termagant
(said of a woman) scolding, domineering, highly opinionated; a fishwife, a nag
(said of a woman) rough, loud, and aggressive
pertaining to a virago
Origin: From virago.
a woman of extraordinary stature, strength, and courage; a woman who has the robust body and masculine mind of a man; a female warrior
hence, a mannish woman; a bold, turbulent woman; a termagant; a vixen
A virago is a woman who demonstrates exemplary and heroic qualities. The word comes from the Latin word vir, meaning virile '' to which the suffix -ago is added, a suffix that effectively re-genders the word to be female. The word virago has almost always had an association with cultural gender transgression. A virago, of whatever excellence, was still identified by her gender. There are recorded instances of viragos, such as Joan of Arc, fighting battles, wearing men's clothing, or receiving the tonsure. This could cause social anxiety. For this reason, the word virago could also be used disparagingly, to imply that a virago was not excellent or heroic, but was instead violating cultural norms. Thus virago joined pejoratives such as termagant and shrew to demean women who acted aggressively or like men.
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