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 Chrisman, who played some quarterback in high school, had pestered Urban Meyer, the former Ohio State coach, about his passing skills. New York Times, "Can They Kick It? Yes They Can. Ohio State and Clemson Just Don’t.," 27 Dec. 2019 Stories in local media had warned about the monkeys that inhabit the landmark and pester tourists for food and, on occasion, menace both visitors and slingshot-carrying security guards. Jill Colvin, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump’s visit to India prioritizes pageantry over policy," 24 Feb. 2020 Yet this time, Wilson had one of his least-efficient games of the season, pestered by an Eagles defense that is improving as healthy veteran bodies return. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Despite ugly outcome, Seahawks show they might be top NFL contenders," 24 Nov. 2019 But after doing a little digging (i.e. pestering the brand for more details), it was confirmed. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Here’s How You Can Get a Free Blowout From Dyson," 9 Mar. 2020 Stories in local media warned of monkeys that inhabit the landmark pestering tourists for food and, on occasion, menacing both visitors and slingshot-carrying security guards. CBS News, "Trump on whirlwind, pageantry-filled visit to India," 24 Feb. 2020 While DoorDash claims 10,000 drivers join the app every week, my phone pesters me almost every night to get out there and make deliveries. Eric Tingwall, Car and Driver, "Making Money with DoorDash and Uber Eats Isn't Easy," 19 Mar. 2020 The government pesters him much less these days about energy and environmental rules. Lydia Depillis, ProPublica, "How Trump’s Trade War Is Making Lobbyists Rich And Slamming Small Businesses," 6 Jan. 2020 Since the lawsuit was settled in July, Haynes has been pestered by real estate agents wanting to take pictures of the property. Jason Buch,, "Money laundering fallout: feds selling homes without knowledge of tenants," 24 Feb. 2020

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

15 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pester.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 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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