a dreadnought of a woman

jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
The clerk crossed back to the desk, where a dreadnought of a woman bundled into a long fur coat and what looked like a black feather boa was remonstrating loudly.
Source: The Shining by Stephen King

What does the bolded phrase mean? Is this in reference to her size or age or power of a dreadnought (battleship)?

Thank you
 
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