harass

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

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

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Other Words from harass

harasser noun
harassment \ hə-​ˈras-​mənt How to pronounce harassment (audio) ; ˈher-​əs-​ , ˈha-​rəs-​ How to pronounce harassment (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 In It and It Chapter Two, the actress was harassed by a deranged supernatural clown. Clark Collis, EW.com, "Horror movie preview: All the big-screen terror tales that will tingle your spine in 2020," 8 Jan. 2020 Johnson denied harassing, groping or propositioning any court colleagues or employees and noted that his chief accuser, Justice Victoria Chaney, had recommended him to then-Gov. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "California judge could face expulsion after charges of sexual harassment," 6 Jan. 2020 The Guard also routinely harasses U.S. Navy vessels in Persian Gulf and surrounding waterways, while Iran has surface-to-sea missile batteries along its coast as well. Washington Post, "AP Explains: Rising Iran, US tension after general’s killing," 3 Jan. 2020 In Iraq, Shiite militias harassed U.S. troops in the country, firing rockets at bases used by Americans. Adam Taylor, Anchorage Daily News, "Qasem Soleimani: Who was Iran’s military leader?," 3 Jan. 2020 According to the criminal complaint, Guzman was harassing a woman who was in a group of people outside District, a nightclub on Water Street. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee man gets 5 years for one-punch homicide outside a downtown bar," 23 Dec. 2019 The Pew Research Centre found that, in 2017, they were harassed in every Middle Eastern country, either by the state or by other groups. The Economist, "A useful stick Christians are persecuted in many places. Autocrats exploit this," 18 Dec. 2019 As the Washington Post recently reported, Afro-Brazilian priests are being harassed and murdered for their faith. Robert Muggah, The Conversation, "Evangelical gangs in Rio de Janeiro wage ‘holy war’ on Afro-Brazilian faiths," 16 Dec. 2019 The police harassed the security guards and forced them to open the university’s gates. Mohd Nazeef Khan, Quartz India, "“Thrash the circumcised,” Delhi cops shouted amidst rampage against us students," 15 Dec. 2019

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

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Time Traveler for harass

Time Traveler

The first known use of harass was in 1617

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Statistics for harass

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Harass.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harass. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for harass

harass

verb
How to pronounce harass (audio) How to pronounce harass (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of harass

: to annoy or bother (someone) in a constant or repeated way
: to make repeated attacks against (an enemy)

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
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on harass

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for harass

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with harass

Spanish Central: Translation of harass

Nglish: Translation of harass for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of harass for Arabic Speakers

Comments on harass

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