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 Martinez was accused in a formal complaint by the State Bar of Arizona of harassing several female employees of the County Attorney’s Office. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "County attorney willing to release Juan Martinez sexual harassment investigation records," 22 Nov. 2019 Phillips accused Braglio of making threatening statements to him over the phone, and Braglio accused Phillips of harassing him and damaging his business reputation. Cody Boteler, baltimoresun.com, "Harassment charge dropped against animal sanctuary owner who hosted calf stolen from Baltimore County farm," 14 Nov. 2019 One of the law firms that Portfolio often uses in Massachusetts — Lustig, Glaser, & Wilson — reached a $1 million settlement with the AG’s office in 2017 after similar complaints of harassing consumers and abusing the court system. BostonGlobe.com, "AG’s office recovers $4 million from debt collector - The Boston Globe," 11 Nov. 2019 Whitehurst was never convicted of charges relating to the decades of female students’ allegations against him, which were unearthed when he was accused of harassing a colleague in 2014. oregonlive, "Portland teachers are now explicitly banned from inviting students to their homes, giving them car rides," 16 Oct. 2019 Kashmiri doctors have also accused Indian security forces of directly harassing and intimidating medical personnel. Sameer Yasir, New York Times, "In Kashmir, a Race Against Death, With No Way to Call a Doctor," 7 Oct. 2019 But Engel on Sunday said there was some irony in Pompeo accusing lawmakers and their staff of harassing State Department employees. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, "Engel says Pompeo not complying with Trump-Ukraine impeachment inquiry," 6 Oct. 2019 Repeal petitioners have accused the blockers of harassing their workers by following them or getting physical with them, with one incident in suburban Columbus leading to a blocker being charged with criminal damaging. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, "Ohio House Bill 6 repeal campaign, struggling to find petitioners, hires supervisor with fraud conviction," 4 Oct. 2019 The 49ers finally have a pass-rush capable of harassing QBs into bad decisions. Eric Branch, SFChronicle.com, "49ers head into the bye unbeaten; What have we learned so far?," 25 Sep. 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

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Harass.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harassed. Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for harass


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)


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

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