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

Definition of pester

transitive verb

1 obsolete : overcrowd
2 : to harass with petty irritations : annoy

Keep scrolling for more

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 Cunningham first set up Google Alerts on Roberts and would pester her whenever something would come up like an article or an old photo. Natalie Morin,, "Emma Roberts Ruthlessly Blocked Her Mum On Instagram: “It Was A Disaster”," 21 Oct. 2020 Yet for all the Rays’ ability to match the Dodgers in the aggregate, and platoon and match up and pester and endure, there is just too much talent on the other side of the field. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Rays-Dodgers World Series: Preview, schedule and why L.A. holds a slight edge," 20 Oct. 2020 In response to these questions, many on Twitter began to pester critics and reviewers whose views did not align with their own during this pre-release window. Washington Post, "What we talk about when we talk about ‘Ghost of Tsushima’," 1 Oct. 2020 The meddling from Washington has concerned Redfield, who often pushed back when Caputo called to pester him about the morbidity reports, according to a former senior government health official. Noah Weiland, Star Tribune, "Political appointees meddled in CDC virus reports," 12 Sep. 2020 Mueller continued to pester the Atlanta defense for the next 20 minutes before cracking the match open with a second goal. Julia Poe,, "Orlando City earns first franchise win over Atlanta United," 29 Aug. 2020 The vocal guard is in constant communication with her teammates, sending messages of encouragement and advice, while not trying to pester them too much from afar. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, "She's missed the entire WNBA season after positive COVID test. How Indiana Fever All-Star Erica Wheeler is staying involved," 26 Aug. 2020 Most of the rental boats are not allowed outside the harbor, and some renters venture in between the docks where they’re not supposed to be or pester the sea lions by chasing them or getting too close. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Oceanside may restore restrictions on harbor watercraft," 23 Aug. 2020 It’s people who figure out the best way to get kids to pester their parents at the grocery store. Tamar Haspel, Washington Post, "Why we should ban junk-food ads aimed at children," 18 Aug. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pester

Statistics for pester

Cite this Entry

“Pester.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pester



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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!