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 Trump and his lawyers argued that the subpoenas were part of a partisan effort to harass and undermine him, and thus fell outside the legitimate legislative purposes with which Congress can obtain information. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court Brings the Presidency Back From a Lawless Brink," 9 July 2020 Congress will have to show, to a judge’s satisfaction, that the subpoenas are for a legitimate legislative oversight purpose and not just to harass Trump. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "White House Report Card: Confusing signals on renaming bases, Biden weaknesses," 11 July 2020 Over 300 people gathered in northwest Henderson Countyin Illinois on Father's Day weekend to watch, trail and harass the bear. Khrysgiana Pineda, USA TODAY, "A black bear named Bruno has traveled 400 miles in search of a mate. And he's gained quite a following.," 4 July 2020 Cities implemented open-container laws only in the late 20th century, after courts struck down vagrancy laws, whose expansive definitions had been used to effectively criminalize homelessness and harass people of color. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Inequality of Summer Leisure," 27 June 2020 One of them was a monkey, which some users soon began using as a way to harass Black users. Eric Newcomer, Fortune, "Racism is rampant on Reddit, and its editors are in open revolt," 20 June 2020 Six ex-eBay employers have been charged over a systematic campaign to harass a couple sending them live cockroaches and spiders, and a bloody pig mask. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "GM board member becoming familiar name for the wrong reasons," 18 June 2020 In another tactic to harass and embarrass the couple, according to allegations in a court filing, several eBay employees created fake posts on Craigslist, including one that advertised a week-long block party at the their home address. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Ex-eBay employees charged with mailing spiders, cockroaches and pig mask to critics," 15 June 2020 Experts say Beijing has created an armada of coast guard and Chinese fishing vessels that can be deployed in the South China Sea to harass other claimant's ships or sail in politically sensitive areas. Ben Westcott, CNN, "Beijing is pushing a new 'front line' in the South China Sea," 7 June 2020

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

20 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Harass.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harass. Accessed 8 Aug. 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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