molest

verb
mo·​lest | \mə-ˈlest \
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.

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Other Words from molest

molestation \ˌmō-​ˌles-​ˈtā-​shən, ˌmä-​, -​ləs-​ \ noun
molester \mə-​ˈles-​tər \ 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

Today the face of scandal is Theodore McCarrick, the former cardinal accused of molesting an 11-year-old boy as well as regularly inviting seminarians to his bed. William Mcgurn, WSJ, "Oscar Wilde’s Catholicism," 8 Oct. 2018 Five testified at the spring trial, when jurors convicted Cosby of drugging and molesting a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Maryclaire Dale, The Seattle Times, "Cosby lawyers fight testimony of other women at sentencing," 11 Sep. 2018 Chapman has admitted to molesting more than 100 boys and is the longtime suspect in the Andy Puglisi disappearance. Bob Ward, ajc, "Release of child rapist with more than 100 victims on hold after appeal by attorney," 25 May 2018 Cosby was accused of drugging and molesting a woman at his mansion in 2004. Bloomberg.com, "The Latest: Accuser Calls Bill Cosby 'A Raping Monster'," 26 Apr. 2018 Getty Images In the first celebrity trial conviction in the #MeToo era, Bill Cosby has officially been convicted of drugging and molesting a woman, according to reports from the Associated Press. Alex Warner, Marie Claire, "Breaking: Bill Cosby Has Just Been Convicted of Sexual Assault," 26 Apr. 2018 Bill Cosby's retrial is currently underway in a Pennsylvania courtroom, where the comedian stands accused of drugging and molesting a woman at his home in 2004. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Bill Cosby Paid a $3.38 Million Settlement to One of His Sexual Assault Accusers," 10 Apr. 2018 Cosby is gearing up for retrial on charges of drugging and molesting a single woman, Andrea Constand. Tracy Connor, NBC News, "Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial will last a month, judge says," 6 Mar. 2018 In 2004, Constand alleged that Cosby drugged and molested her during an incident at his home. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "Bill Cosby spent decades as “America’s Dad.” He’s about to be sentenced for a 2004 assault.," 24 Sep. 2018

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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near molest

mole shrew

moleskin

mole snake

molest

molestful

molet

moleta

Statistics for molest

Last Updated

16 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for molest

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

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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

: to bother or annoy (someone or something)

molest

verb
mo·​lest | \mə-ˈlest \
molested; molesting

Kids Definition of molest

: to disturb or injure by interfering

mo·​lest | \mə-ˈlest \

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-​ \ noun
molester noun

More from Merriam-Webster on molest

Spanish Central: Translation of molest

Nglish: Translation of molest for Spanish Speakers

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