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

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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 Lamont emphasized that people anxious to get their power back should not harass the workers toiling to restore it. Dave Altimari, courant.com, "On fifth day after Tropical Storm Isaias, Eversource says full power will be restored by midnight Tuesday; town-by-town list released," 8 Aug. 2020 The point of the comparison is only to observe that an attorney general has tremendous power to harass a disfavored organization using purportedly neutral state laws and legal processes to get there. Noah Feldman Bloomberg Opinion, Star Tribune, "New York attorney general's assault on the NRA is wrong and dangerous," 7 Aug. 2020 The agency cited new constitutional protections for crime victims that allow police to hold back information that could be used to locate or harass victims and their families. Susannah Bryan, sun-sentinel.com, "Homeless man accused of murder at Rodeway Inn in Dania Beach," 6 Aug. 2020 Polis’ comments are just an excuse for police to harass the homeless, Merrissa Pittman said. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Denver gives Colorado State Patrol authority to enforce city’s camping ban on state property," 24 July 2020 Trump and his lawyers argued that the subpoenas were part of a partisan effort to harass and undermine him, and thus fell outside the legitimate legislative purposes with which Congress can obtain information. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court Brings the Presidency Back From a Lawless Brink," 9 July 2020 Congress will have to show, to a judge’s satisfaction, that the subpoenas are for a legitimate legislative oversight purpose and not just to harass Trump. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "White House Report Card: Confusing signals on renaming bases, Biden weaknesses," 11 July 2020 Over 300 people gathered in northwest Henderson Countyin Illinois on Father's Day weekend to watch, trail and harass the bear. Khrysgiana Pineda, USA TODAY, "A black bear named Bruno has traveled 400 miles in search of a mate. And he's gained quite a following.," 4 July 2020 Cities implemented open-container laws only in the late 20th century, after courts struck down vagrancy laws, whose expansive definitions had been used to effectively criminalize homelessness and harass people of color. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Inequality of Summer Leisure," 27 June 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.

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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

13 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Harass.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harass. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on 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

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