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 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 In response, protesters began to share information online to identify and sometimes harass them. New York Times, "A Hong Kong Website Gets Blocked, Raising Censorship Fears," 9 Jan. 2021 That those who harass and bully have no place in society or in science. 500 Women Scientists, Scientific American, "Four Years after Science Took a Hit, There’s Hope," 17 Nov. 2020 The Associated Press An Arizona man who joined other members of a neo-Nazi group in a coordinated campaign to threaten and harass journalists, activists and other targets on both U.S. coasts was sentenced Wednesday to 16 months in federal prison. Michael Kunzelman, USA TODAY, "Neo-Nazi group member gets prison in plot targeting journalists," 11 Dec. 2020 An Arizona man who joined other members of a neo-Nazi group in a coordinated campaign to threaten and harass journalists, activists and other targets on both U.S. coasts was sentenced Wednesday to 16 months in federal prison. CBS News, "Neo-Nazi group member sentenced to 16 months in prison for threatening journalists," 10 Dec. 2020 The claim also references two Lake Oswego parents, who allegedly had their children harass the student’s mother and call the student a racist slur during a game. oregonlive, "Lake Oswego student plans to sue superintendent, state senator over alleged discrimination at school," 1 Dec. 2020 Utah’s anti-stalking law captures the many behaviors stalkers employ to frighten and harass their victims. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Ex-lawmaker Mike Noel gains stalking injunction against critic, who sees it as a gag order," 15 Nov. 2020 Nixon was accused of multiple abuses of power, including the use of government agencies to harass political enemies and to interfere with an FBI investigation of a break-in at the Watergate headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. Jeff Barker, baltimoresun.com, "Paul Sarbanes, longtime U.S. senator from Maryland who championed protection of Chesapeake Bay, dies at 87," 7 Dec. 2020 The Cowboys sacked him three times, but didn’t harass him consistently. Dallas News, "Grading the Cowboys: Atrocious red-zone offense, awful run defense and just bad coaching for Dallas," 27 Nov. 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

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Harass.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harass. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on harass

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