A vixen is a female fox, but the word has also historically been used, generally by men, to describe certain women. It seems to have fallen out of use, but i also think that most people would still be familiar with the term.
So, without looking at any dictionaries or other reference works: If a woman was described to you as a vixen, what characteristics would you attribute to her? What sort of woman would come to mind?
Once you’ve sorted out your own understanding of the term, have a look at the relevant section from the Oxford English Dictionary:vixen, n. 2.a. An ill-tempered quarrelsome woman; a shrew, a termagant.Do your definition and the OED’s definition agree?
I ask because the word came up at dinner last night, and both my wife and i found that our own understanding of the word’s meaning was actually quite different from the dictionary definition, and yet we both still believe that our own definition is the one more commonly used. I’ll explain further after getting some responses.