harass

verb
ha·​rass | \ hə-ˈras How to pronounce harass (audio) ; ˈher-əs, ˈha-rəs How to pronounce harass (audio) \
harassed; harassing; harasses

Essential Meaning of harass

1 : to annoy or bother (someone) in a constant or repeated way She was constantly harassed by the other students. He claims that he is being unfairly harassed by the police. He was accused of sexually harassing his secretary. [=of making unwanted sexual comments to her]
2 : to make repeated attacks against (an enemy) The troops harassed the defeated army throughout its retreat.

Full Definition of harass

transitive verb

1a : exhaust, fatigue I have been harassed with the toil of verse— William Wordsworth
b(1) : to annoy persistently was harassing his younger brother
(2) : to create an unpleasant or hostile situation for especially by uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct was being harassed by her classmates claims that the police were unfairly harassing him
2 : to worry and impede by repeated raids harassed the enemy

Other Words from harass

harasser noun
harassment \ hə-​ˈras-​mənt How to pronounce harass (audio) ; ˈher-​əs-​ , ˈha-​rəs-​ How to pronounce harass (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of harass in a Sentence

She was constantly harassed by the other students. He claims that he is being unfairly harassed by the police.
Recent Examples on the Web Howard Weiss, a Bay Area resident, was indicted in 2020 for allegedly using anonymous emails to threaten and harass Sen. Mitch McConnell, the former Senate majority leader, in 2018 and 2019. Christian Martinez, Los Angeles Times, 29 Dec. 2021 So the once-powerful religious authorities have been reduced to mouthpieces for the regime, forbidden to harass the populace. Karen Elliott House, WSJ, 9 Dec. 2021 Students and scholars from China who criticize the regime in Beijing can face quick retaliation from fellow students and Chinese officials who harass their families back home. Haruka Sakaguchi, ProPublica, 30 Nov. 2021 As with all teams coached by Leonard Hamilton, this squad wants to harass ball-handlers. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 29 Nov. 2021 And in 2018, then-House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi criticized fellow California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters for calling on supporters to harass Trump administration officials. Jill Colvin, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Nov. 2021 And in 2018, then-House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi criticized fellow California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters for calling on supporters to harass Trump administration officials. Jill Colvin, ajc, 11 Nov. 2021 Angelica Laurant, mother of one of the boys, said Brown's car broke down in front of the home and that the resident began to harass the group, telling them to leave his property. Drake Bentley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6 Nov. 2021 But without fellow starting outside linebacker Ryan Bowman, UW will count on Tupuola-Fetui to consistently harass Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 5 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'harass.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of harass

1617, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for 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

Learn More About harass

Dictionary Entries Near harass

haras

harass

harassedly

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Statistics for harass

Last Updated

10 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Harass.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harass. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for harass

harass

verb
ha·​rass | \ hə-ˈras How to pronounce harass (audio) , ˈher-əs \
harassed; harassing

Kids Definition of harass

1 : to annoy again and again
2 : to make repeated attacks against an enemy

Other Words from harass

harassment \ -​mənt \ noun

harass

transitive verb
ha·​rass | \ hə-ˈras, ˈhar-əs How to pronounce harass (audio) \

Legal Definition of harass

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

Other Words from harass

harasser noun
harassment noun

History and Etymology for harass

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

More from Merriam-Webster on harass

Nglish: Translation of harass for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of harass for Arabic Speakers

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