Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

harass

play
verb ha·rass \hə-ˈras; ˈher-əs, ˈha-rəs\

Simple Definition of harass

  • : to annoy or bother (someone) in a constant or repeated way

  • : to make repeated attacks against (an enemy)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of harass

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  exhaust, fatigue b (1) :  to annoy persistently (2) :  to create an unpleasant or hostile situation for especially by uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct

  3. 2 :  to worry and impede by repeated raids <harassed the enemy>

harasser noun
harassment play \-mənt\ noun

Examples of harass in a sentence

  1. She was constantly harassed by the other students.

  2. He claims that he is being unfairly harassed by the police.



Origin of harass

French harasser, from Middle French, from harer to set a dog on, from Old French hare, interjection used to incite dogs, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German hier here — more at here


First Known Use: 1617

Synonym Discussion of harass

worry, annoy, harass, harry, plague, pester, tease mean to disturb or irritate by persistent acts. worry implies an incessant goading or attacking that drives one to desperation <pursued a policy of worrying the enemy>. annoy implies disturbing one's composure or peace of mind by intrusion, interference, or petty attacks <you're doing that just to annoy me>. harass implies petty persecutions or burdensome demands that exhaust one's nervous or mental power <harassed on all sides by creditors>. harry may imply heavy oppression or maltreatment <the strikers had been harried by thugs>. plague implies a painful and persistent affliction <plagued all her life by poverty>. pester stresses the repetition of petty attacks <constantly pestered with trivial complaints>. tease suggests an attempt to break down one's resistance or rouse to wrath <children teased the dog>.

Rhymes with harass



HARASS Defined for Kids

harass

play
verb ha·rass \hə-ˈras, ˈher-əs\

Definition of harass for Students

harassedharassing

  1. 1 :  to annoy again and again

  2. 2 :  to make repeated attacks against an enemy

harassment \-mənt\ noun



Law Dictionary

harass

play
transitive verb ha·rass \hə-ˈras, ˈhar-əs\

Legal Definition of harass

  1. :  to subject persistently and wrongfully to annoying, offensive, or troubling behavior <a collection agency harassing a debtor> — see also sexual harassment

harasser noun
harassment noun


Origin of harass

Middle French harasser to exhaust, fatigue, from harer to set a dog on, from Old French hare, interjection used to incite dogs



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up harass? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

tending to dismiss important matters

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

reduce disapprove soothe perplex
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ