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 The game wasn’t too pretty to begin with, but the Browns defense was outstanding, constantly harassing Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph, leading to him throwing four interceptions. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Cleveland Browns’ ugly win over Pittsburgh Steelers has an even uglier ending: Reaction to the game," 15 Nov. 2019 All doesn't end well — Joe ends up stalking, manipulating, and harassing Beck, kidnapping and killing off her friends, and generally doing some extremely bad stuff. Teen Vogue, ""You" Season 2 Netflix Release Date," 11 Nov. 2019 Derek Willard was thrown out of a sports bar on Halloween three years ago, accused of cursing at a bartender and harassing customers. Rafael Olmeda, sun-sentinel.com, "‘My homeboys shot me.’ Trial gets underway in Halloween night killing at sports bar," 5 Nov. 2019 Czeskleba said while speaking with witnesses, officers learned that the suspect had also been harassing other customers at the establishment. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Brookside police lieutenant arrested at Dave and Busters in Hoover," 30 Oct. 2019 Members of the church asked Harrison to stop livestreaming the event after the church began receiving harassing telephone calls while panelists were talking. Daniel Gonzalez, azcentral, "AZ Patriots leader Jennifer Harrison arrested on suspicion of identity theft," 25 Oct. 2019 While Justin Houston, Jabaal Sheard and company have done a fine job harassing the quarterback lately, there's no such thing as too many quality pass-rushers. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: With NFL trade deadline looming, Colts could look to bolster pass rush," 23 Oct. 2019 The incident spurred Kaplan and Dunn to pursue sanctions against Cantwell, asking that the court order him to stop harassing not just Kaplan, but the plaintiffs as well. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Two Years After Charlottesville, These Women Are Taking the Alt-Right to Court," 7 Oct. 2019 In April, Multnomah County in Oregon agreed to pay $100,000 to a black employee who sued, alleging she was harassed by co-workers after asking that a Blue Lives Matter flag not be displayed at the office. Daily Pilot, "As follow-up to rainbow flag, Costa Mesa councilman wants to hang ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flag at City Hall," 14 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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Statistics for harass

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for harass

The first known use of harass was in 1617

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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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