pes·​ter | \ˈpe-stər \
pestered; pestering\ ˈpe-​st(ə-​)riŋ \

Definition of pester 

transitive verb

1 obsolete : overcrowd

2 : to harass with petty irritations : annoy

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Choose the Right Synonym for pester

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 pester in a Sentence

Leave me alone! Stop pestering me! one resident pestered the condo board about every little thing

Recent Examples on the Web

Bad news — rain chances want to pester our weekend. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Mugginess and clouds today pave the way for periodic weekend rain," 8 June 2018 Buzz60 Are friends or family pestering you to get off your beach chair and go in the water? Matthew Diebel, USA TODAY, "Ee-ew! Authorities warn as sea lice invade beaches in Pensacola, northwest Florida," 27 June 2018 Al Samawi had pestered someone into giving him the phone number of the captain of the ship. Karen Berkowitz,, "Highland Park grad plays key role in peace activist's escape from Yemen: 'This guy is going to die unless you do something'," 8 May 2018 No, not even royals are immune to being pestered by insects in the summertime. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Countess Sophie Had an Awkward Moment with a Bug While Riding with Meghan Markle To the Royal Ascot," 21 June 2018 She was pestered by pan-handlers and walked through restaurants filled with dozens of patrons, all focused on their meals and conversation. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Cyberpunk 2077 is part RPG, part shooter, part GTA-style mayhem," 13 June 2018 To understand what Coach O has meant in the U.S., a one-time sports rival that became a big-hearted home, visit the GoFundMe page Ruotolo and others pestered her for permission to post. Bryce Miller,, "Global soccer star who coached hundreds in San Diego area fighting cancer," 12 May 2018 The same information revolution that allows me to monitor deep space communications from a barstool also enables me to pester public affairs officials in Australia. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Time I Thought a Mars Rover Spoke To Me On a Barstool," 15 June 2018 Gator pesters Florida neighborhood, head-butts trapper, makes last-ditch effort to escape The park is near the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, a major Miami-area tourist and entertainment attraction. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "Gator attacks, likely kills woman as she walked dogs in Florida," 8 June 2018

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

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pester

modification of Middle French empestrer to hobble, embarrass, from Vulgar Latin *impastoriare, from Latin in- + Late Latin pastoria tether — more at pastern

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Statistics for pester

Last Updated

3 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pester

The first known use of pester was in 1548

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More Definitions for pester



English Language Learners Definition of pester

: to annoy or bother (someone) in a repeated way


pes·​ter | \ˈpe-stər \
pestered; pestering

Kids Definition of pester

: to bother again and again

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Comments on pester

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


to express warning or disapproval

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