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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


verb ha·rass \hə-ˈras, ˈher-əs\

Definition of harass for Students


  1. 1 :  to annoy again and again

  2. 2 :  to make repeated attacks against an enemy

harassment \-mənt\ noun

Law Dictionary


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).


to dishevel or rumple

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