molest

verb
mo·​lest | \ mə-ˈlest How to pronounce molest (audio) \
molested; molesting; molests

Definition of molest

transitive verb

1 : to annoy, disturb, or persecute especially with hostile intent or injurious effect The zookeeper warned the visitors not to molest the animals.
2 : to make annoying sexual advances to especially : to force physical and usually sexual contact on He was sent to prison for molesting children.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from molest

molestation \ ˌmō-​ˌle-​ˈstā-​shən How to pronounce molestation (audio) , ˌmä-​ , -​lə-​ \ noun
molester \ mə-​ˈle-​stər How to pronounce molester (audio) \ noun

Examples of molest in a Sentence

He was sent to jail for molesting children. It was illegal to molest, capture, or kill any of the animals in the park.

Recent Examples on the Web

In interviews after his arrest, Brocksom told investigators his daughter told him Beata Brocksom had molested her, which led to his driving to Gurnee from the Wisconsin Dells in the middle of the night to ask her about the accusations. Jim Newton, Lake County News-Sun, "Man convicted of Gurnee murder last fall might finally be sentenced next month," 7 June 2019 Rice worked as a lifeguard and martial arts instructor in St. Petersburg in 1998 and was convicted with molesting several girls at an apartment complex pool, the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office said. Tiffini Theisen, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida sex offender brought squirt gun, other toys to public pool to prowl for child victims, investigators say," 20 June 2019 The 9-year-old son was molested by Sobonya, who had become known in Southern California for being a potential predator. Michael Todd, The Mercury News, "Santa Cruz District Attorney asks court to keep child predator in state hospital," 19 June 2019 Jones is accused of raping and molesting the victim between December 7, 2015, and April 11, 2018. Robert Rhoden, nola.com, "Grand jury charges Folsom man with raping, molesting child," 13 June 2019 The other is charged with molesting two boys over years and has pleaded not guilty. Kris Maher, WSJ, "Pennsylvania Report Alleges Child Sex Abuse by More Than 300 Priests," 14 Aug. 2018 Jackson is charged in a 10-count indictment with molesting a boy, plying him with liquor and conspiring to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. Jamie Spain, PEOPLE.com, "Michael Jackson Laments the 'Star Needs Some Space' in Trailer for New Documentary," 17 May 2018 Cosby was convicted Thursday of drugging and molesting a woman 14 years ago. Bloomberg.com, "The Latest: Accuser Calls Bill Cosby 'A Raping Monster'," 26 Apr. 2018 Arizona Republic A former Goodyear teacher will face up to 30 years in prison for molesting a 13-year-old student. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "VIDEO: Goodyear teacher accused of molesting 13-year-old student faces 30 years in prison," 11 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'molest.' 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 molest

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for molest

Middle English, from Anglo-French molester, from Latin molestare, from molestus burdensome, annoying; akin to Latin moles mass

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about molest

Dictionary Entries near molest

mole shrew

moleskin

mole snake

molest

molestful

molet

moleta

Statistics for molest

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for molest

The first known use of molest was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for molest

molest

verb

English Language Learners Definition of molest

: to harm (someone) through sexual contact : to touch (someone) in a sexual and improper way
old-fashioned : to bother or annoy (someone or something)

molest

verb
mo·​lest | \ mə-ˈlest How to pronounce molest (audio) \
molested; molesting

Kids Definition of molest

: to disturb or injure by interfering
mo·​lest | \ mə-ˈlest How to pronounce molest (audio) \

Legal Definition of molest

1 : to annoy, disturb, or persecute especially with hostile intent or injurious effect
2 : to make annoying sexual advances to specifically : to force physical and usually sexual contact on (as a child)

Other Words from molest

molestation \ ˌmō-​ˌles-​ˈtā-​shən, ˌmä-​, -​ləs-​ How to pronounce molestation (audio) \ noun
molester noun

More from Merriam-Webster on molest

Spanish Central: Translation of molest

Nglish: Translation of molest for Spanish Speakers

Comments on molest

What made you want to look up molest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

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'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!