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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The investigation was spurred by a report from the Chronicle of Philanthropy that detailed allegations from former employees who said that a top manager at the foundation, Mari Ellen Loijens, harassed and bullied them. Wendy Lee, San Francisco Chronicle, "Silicon Valley Community Foundation CEO put on leave amid scandal," 26 Apr. 2018 They are already banned from abusing, harassing or interfering with the employment of the victim, and they are typically not allowed to come within a certain physical distance of their victims. Julia O'donoghue, NOLA.com, "Gun access in Louisiana could be prohibited for stalkers, hate crime perpetrators," 23 Apr. 2018 Sweeney said the man had a history of harassing and stalking his niece, who works at a night club, according to WYFF. Jared Gilmour, charlotteobserver, "Stalker who 'couldn't accept that no means no' got shot hiding in SC woman's closet, family says | Charlotte Observer," 20 Apr. 2018 Chinese forces regularly harass ships and aircraft of other countries entering the South China Sea. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "A Chinese Military Official Suggests Ramming U.S. Warships in the South China Sea," 10 Dec. 2018 Some owners who have documented the presence of short-term renters say they have been fined thousands of dollars by the condo board for allegedly harassing and assaulting people in the building. Josh Barbanel, WSJ, "New York City Raids Condo Building in Crackdown on Airbnb Rentals," 11 Nov. 2018 The Capital had written about Ramos pleading guilty to harassing a former high school classmate in 2011, and Ramos unsuccessfully sued the writer and the newspaper’s publisher for defamation. Brian Witte, The Seattle Times, "Judge grants time to weigh insanity plea in newspaper attack," 20 Aug. 2018 Authorities say Jarrod Ramos, 38, made threats against the Capital Gazette, accusing the newspaper of defaming him in a column that described him pleading guilty to harassing a woman over social media. Justin Wm. Moyer And Rachel Chason, Washington Post, "Newsrooms observe a moment of silence to honor Capital Gazette victims," 5 July 2018 Ramos sued the paper after pleading guilty to harassing a high school classmate. David Mcfadden, Anchorage Daily News, "Suspect wrote he aimed to kill everyone at Maryland newsroom," 3 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about harass

Dictionary Entries near harass

Harare

Harari

haras

harass

harassedly

harassing fire

harassingly

Statistics for harass

Last Updated

20 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for harass

The first known use of harass was in 1617

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for harass

harass

verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on harass

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with harass

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for harass

Spanish Central: Translation of harass

Nglish: Translation of harass for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of harass for Arabic Speakers

Comments on harass

What made you want to look up harass? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to speak slightingly about or to degrade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!