pes·​ter | \ ˈpe-stər How to pronounce pester (audio) \
pestered; pestering\ ˈpe-​st(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce pestering (audio) \

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 Illinois State only took five 3-pointers the entire game due to the way the Norse pestered their players throughout the second half. J.l. Kirven,, "'Slumpbuster': Tyler Sharpe's career day helps Northern Kentucky take down Illinois State," 15 Dec. 2019 The Jazz used him to pester James Harden in the 2018 Playoffs. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers’ Jordan Clarkson trade was about financial flexibility, stockpiling assets and ... Kevin Porter Jr.," 27 Dec. 2019 If a journalist were charged with a violation, police would have to show that publication of any photo or data was intended to pester police rather than publicize information, and that won’t be so easy to prove in the case of a working journalist. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Hong Kong’s latest injunction protects police while putting press freedom at risk," 26 Oct. 2019 But even then, people love to pester me about wedding bells as if the trajectories of my relationships are any of their damn business. Glamour, "17 Comebacks to ‘So When Are You Getting Married?’," 18 Oct. 2019 The remaining effects of Dorian will continue to pester the state as it is projected to take all day Wednesday before its outer bands leave the state. Gray Rohrer,, "Hurricane Dorian: Still dangerous but Florida spared worst, DeSantis says," 3 Sep. 2019 Albin Grewe is a physical skater who likes to pester opponents. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Steve Yzerman could accelerate Detroit Red Wings rebuild in NHL draft," 13 June 2019 Its shareholders had pestered management to improve margins and raise sales fast, unduly hurrying its turnaround efforts. The Economist, "LVMH tests the limits of luxury," 28 Nov. 2019 During the closing moments of Tuesday’s matchup against Boston, Thompson pestered red-hot Gordon Hayward. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "4 ‘small victories’ Cleveland Cavaliers can point to early in 2019-20 season," 7 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for pester

Time Traveler

The first known use of pester was in 1548

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Statistics for pester

Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pester.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for pester


How to pronounce pester (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pester

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


pes·​ter | \ ˈpe-stər How to pronounce pester (audio) \
pestered; pestering

Kids Definition of pester

: to bother again and again

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More from Merriam-Webster on pester

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pester

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pester

Spanish Central: Translation of pester

Nglish: Translation of pester for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pester for Arabic Speakers

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