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.

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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

Cosby, 82, is serving a three- to 10-year prison term for drugging and molesting a woman at his home in what became the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era. Time, "An Ebola Drug Trial Ended Early Because It Was So Successful. That Could Change How Doctors Handle Future Outbreaks," 13 Aug. 2019 Cosby, 82, is serving a three- to 10-year prison term for drugging and molesting a woman at his home in what became the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era. Washington Post, "Cosby lawyers ask appeals court to toss #MeToo conviction," 12 Aug. 2019 Gurba was molested by a classmate reaching beneath her desktop during a junior high history class, an act her teacher saw and, for whatever reason, chose to ignore. Steve Wieberg, kansascity, "‘Mean’ author wields a potent weapon against trauma: Humor," 12 Feb. 2018 An Australian appeals court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of Cardinal George Pell, who was found guilty earlier this year of molesting two 13-year-old choir boys in the 1990s. Gina Martinez, Time, "Catholic Priest Abuse Survivors' Group Says It's 'Cowardly' That Convicted Cardinal Has Not Been Defrocked," 21 Aug. 2019 The case is drawing unsettling parallels to the institutional breakdowns at Penn State revealed during the case of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted of molesting young boys in 2012. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Michigan State’s Larry Nassar fallout has begun," 27 Mar. 2018 In December Johnson killed himself, two days after he was accused of molesting a 17-year-old girl. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Democrat Takes Kentucky House Seat in District Trump Won by 49 Points," 21 Feb. 2018 Matthew Hedge pleaded guilty in 1989 of molesting two girls and two boys under age 14 in San Diego. Pauline Repard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Man charged with child molesting pleads not guilty," 8 Aug. 2019 Investigators have not publicly commented on whether Lund suspected of molesting any of his students. John Glidden, The Mercury News, "Ex-Vallejo teacher pleads guilty to child enticement; school failed to discipline him for contacting girl in 2017," 5 Sep. 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.

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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

21 Oct 2019

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
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

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