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 altercation started when four Banditos began harassing a rookie, according to the claim. Joel Rubin, latimes.com, "FBI investigating tattooed deputy gangs in Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department," 11 July 2019 Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory or harassing behavior and speech. ProPublica, "ProPublica Data Institute 2019," 5 July 2019 Indeed, Russia has a different attitude to journalists: Periodically, they are arrested, harassed and even murdered by agents of the state. Anne Applebaum, Twin Cities, "Anne Applebaum: Putin’s attack on Western values was familiar. The American reaction was not.," 3 July 2019 Organizations like Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace often harassed Japan’s whaling fleet in the Antarctic, describing them as pirate whalers. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Japan Resumes Commercial Whaling in Its Home Waters," 1 July 2019 Many men caught in these entrapment schemes were closeted and accepted fines and plea deals rather than fight charges in a public trial, where they could be outed and harassed. Sidney Fussell, The Atlantic, "How Stonewall Reversed a Long History of Justifying Police Surveillance," 29 June 2019 But that view overlooks the many ways that Chinese regulators can harass U.S. companies operating in China. David J. Lynch, chicagotribune.com, "Popularity of tariffs on China may lead to political pain for Trump," 23 June 2018 Granted, that Warriors team didn’t have Kevin Durant, but if Capela can adequately harass Golden State’s guards around the three-point line, the gap between the Rockets and Warriors closes ever so slightly. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "Clint Capela Has Emerged as Houston's Not-So-Secret Weapon," 6 May 2018 The language almost certainly means laser strikes, in which lasers on the ground are pointed at aircraft to harass or injure pilots. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Mystery Laser Attacks Against Planes Could Be Linked to New Chinese Base," 30 Apr. 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

15 Jul 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

characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!