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

Radicals of all kinds don’t just seek to kill, threaten or harass. David French, Time, "My Fellow Republicans Must Stand Against the Alt-Right Virus Infecting America," 8 Aug. 2019 Actress Afton Williamson has Angela Bassett’s full support following Williamson’s decision to come forward with allegations that she was harassed and bullied by a crew member and guest star on The Rookie. Sydney Scott, Essence, "Angela Bassett Shows Support To Afton Williamson For Speaking Out About Alleged Sexual Harassment On Set," 7 Aug. 2019 The Texas Rangers have offered free tickets to a family that says they were harassed at one of the team's games this past weekend, per ESPN. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Texas Rangers offer free tickets to family who says they were harassed at game over weekend," 7 Aug. 2019 Before school officials determine whether a student is placed in a disciplinary program, the teacher who says they were harassed has to meet with that student and the student's parent. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "A new law in Texas will make it easier for schools to discipline students who harass teachers," 3 Aug. 2019 According to video obtained by TMZ, A$AP Rocky’s arrest came after he and his entourage were being harassed by two men in Stockholm on June 30. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Kim Kardashian gets Jared Kushner to help rescue A$AP Rocky from a Swedish jail, report says," 18 July 2019 While on the stop, dispatch advised police that the driver called 911 to attempt to complain that he was being harassed by the officer, further noting that the same driver had made a similar call regarding a Hillsboro police earlier in the evening. oregonlive.com, "Woman attempts late-night fishing over open manhole with make-shift pole: Forest Grove police log," 17 July 2019 That hit fever pitch a year ago when a forest preserve police officer was caught on video seemingly ignoring a woman’s call for help as she was being harassed. Lisa Donovan, chicagotribune.com, "The Spin: Rev. Jesse Jackson blasts President Trump for ‘go back’ to where you came from tweets, days after asking him to pardon Blagojevich," 16 July 2019 The game centers on a young woman named Kay who traverses a strange world overrun by the sea as she is harassed and harangued by monstrous creatures that question her self-worth and fortitude. Patrick Shanley, The Hollywood Reporter, "How a Turbulent Relationship and Professional Ennui Inspired Indie Game 'Sea of Solitude'," 16 July 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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Dictionary Entries near harass






harassing fire


Statistics for harass

Last Updated

12 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for harass

The first known use of harass was in 1617

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More Definitions for harass



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

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

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a period when something is suspended

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