1: Capitalized: a deity erroneously ascribed to Islam by medieval European Christians and represented in early English drama as a violent character.
2: an overbearing or nagging woman: shrew.
[Origin: Middle English Termagaunt, Tervagaunt, Old French Tervagan the imaginary deity: c.1500, “violent, overbearing person” (especially of women), from Teruagant, Teruagaunt (c.1200), name of fictitious Muslim deity appearing in medieval morality plays, from Old French Tervagant, a proper name in “Chanson de Roland” (c.1100), of uncertain origin.
Termagant, adjective: overbearing, shrewish. (C 1598)
“The Englishman hardly knew whether to put him down as a man haunted by a fixed delusion, or as one oppressed by a guilty conscience, or as an unbearably henpecked husband. The probabilities, when reckoned up, certainly pointed to the last idea; but, still, the impression conveyed was that of a more formidable persecutor even than a termagant wife.” – Canon Alberic’s Scrap-Book, M.R. James.