Definition of harry
1 : to make a pillaging or destructive raid on : assault
2 : to force to move along by harassing harrying the terrified horses down out of the mountains — R. A. Sokolov
3 : to torment by or as if by constant attack
harry was our Word of the Day on 01/25/2016. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Was there once a warlike man named Harry who is the source for the verb harry? One particularly belligerent Harry does come to mind: Shakespeare once described how "famine, sword, and fire" accompanied "the warlike Harry," England's King Henry the Fifth. But neither this king nor any of his namesakes are the source for the verb. Rather, harry (or a word resembling it) has been a part of English for as long as there has been anything that could be called English. It took the form hergian in Old English and harien in Middle English, passing through numerous variations before finally settling into its modern spelling. The word's Old English ancestors are related to Old High German words heriōn ("to lay waste") and heri ("army").
Origin and Etymology of harry
Middle English harien, from Old English hergian; akin to Old High German heriōn to lay waste, heri army, Greek koiranos ruler
First Known Use: before 12th century
Synonym Discussion of harry
HARRY Defined for Kids
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