harpy

A harpy is a mean, foul-tempered woman. You might quietly refer to your cranky math teacher as a harpy.

The word harpy is a derogatory term for a very unpleasant female person. It is often considered offensive to call someone a harpy, in part because it singles out a nasty woman, when a man with similar characteristics might simply be "loud" or "opinionated" or "overbearing." The word comes from Greek mythology, in which a harpy was a food-stealing creature with a woman's head and the body of a bird.

Primary Meanings of harpy

1.
n
any of various fruit bats of the genus Nyctimene distinguished by nostrils drawn out into diverging tubes
2.
n
a malicious woman with a fierce temper
Full Definitions of harpy
1

n any of various fruit bats of the genus Nyctimene distinguished by nostrils drawn out into diverging tubes

Synonyms:
harpy bat, tube-nosed bat, tube-nosed fruit bat
Type of:
fruit bat, megabat
large Old World bat of warm and tropical regions that feeds on fruit

n large black-and-white crested eagle of tropical America

Synonyms:
Harpia harpyja, harpy eagle
Type of:
bird of Jove, eagle
any of various large keen-sighted diurnal birds of prey noted for their broad wings and strong soaring flight
2

n a malicious woman with a fierce temper

Synonyms:
hellcat, vixen
Type of:
disagreeable woman, unpleasant woman
a woman who is an unpleasant person

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