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 And last month, a federal appeals court, again, ruled that Trump must disclose his financial documents to Vance's office, rejecting his lawyers' additional claims that the subpoenas were too broad and were issued to harass him. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "'Vulnerable to prosecution': When Trump leaves White House, presidential 'cloak of immunity' goes away," 7 Nov. 2020 Cody Nason, a former employee at McCaskey’s fine dining restaurant, Acadia, was granted a no contact order last month after alleging in a court petition that the chef created a website, multiple email addresses and fake online reviews to harass him. Josh Noel, chicagotribune.com, "No contact order against Acadia chef Ryan McCaskey extended; lawyer says he wants to figure out who created site to harass former worker," 5 Oct. 2020 Supporters, backed by bot accounts, harass each other or throw accusations of fake news, often tweeting under rival hashtags such as #EndArmenianOccupation and #SaveArtsakh. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, "Around Nagorno-Karabakh, an all-out media war unfolds," 10 Nov. 2020 Equally, while the police should be apolitical, the Tanzania police force was used as the ruling party’s attack dog to intimidate, arrest, and harass the opposition. David E Kiwuwa, Quartz Africa, "Tanzania’s democracy has taken a step backward after a flawed election," 4 Nov. 2020 And in Minnesota, a private security company is recruiting former military members to guard polling places, alarming election officials with the prospect of unofficial armed guards who could intimidate or harass voters. Matt Vasilogambros And Carrie Levine, USA TODAY, "'We'll protect their right to vote': How election officials are preparing for voter intimidation tactics," 17 Oct. 2020 In Minnesota, a private security company is recruiting former military members to guard polling places, alarming election officials with the prospect of unofficial armed guards who could intimidate or harass voters. Lisa J. Huriash, sun-sentinel.com, "Voter intimidation looms as a concern. Here’s how South Florida will fight it.," 17 Oct. 2020 To open the second half, the Saints continued to have Sanders harass the Chargers’ defensive zone from the slot. Luke Johnson, NOLA.com, "Second look: Emmanuel Sanders was the straw that stirred the Saints offensive drink," 14 Oct. 2020 Volunteers in Long Island, Kansas City, and San Clemente patrolled their communities to catch undocumented immigrants and either turn them over to law enforcement or harass them directly. Stephen Wertheim, The New Yorker, "How Trump Brought Home the Endless War," 1 Oct. 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.

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

Time Traveler for harass

Time Traveler

The first known use of harass was in 1617

See more words from the same year

Statistics for harass

Last Updated

29 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Harass.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harass. Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!