Definition of


  1. (noun, person) someone (especially a woman) who annoys people by constantly finding fault
  2. (verb, communication) censure severely or angrily
    The deputy ragged the Prime Minister
    The customer dressed down the waiter for bringing cold soup
  3. (verb, communication) show one's unhappiness or critical attitude
    We grumbled about the increased work load

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Scold

  1. mid-12c., "person of ribald speech," also "person fond of abusive language," from O.N. skald "poet" (see skald). The sense evolution may reflect the fact that Gmc. poets (like their Celtic counterparts) were famously feared for their ability to lampoon and mock (e.g. skaldskapr "poetry," also, in Icelandic law books, "libel in verse"). From the beginning, used esp… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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