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 One bars people from insulting or pestering police officers or their family members. Washington Post, "Hong Kong police stop and search people, fire tear gas on protesters as fears of ‘police state’ intensify," 2 Nov. 2019 Tim Locastro, a former Dodger who has pestered his former club this series, singled before Ahmed smacked a two-run double with two strikes down the left-field line to give Arizona a 5-4 lead. Los Angeles Times, "Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen struggle as Dodgers lose third straight," 31 Aug. 2019 A year later, in August 2017, Burton appeared to get upset with Cadichon after the officer pestered him about missing a payday. Jason Meisner,, "Chicago cop pleads guilty to taking bribes for accident victim information," 22 Aug. 2019 Occasionally, the veteran would pester his understudy. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "Rams’ Joe Noteboom, Brian Allen look to make seamless transition to starting roles," 3 Sep. 2019 The Womacks pestered their Realtor to stay on the selling agent. Mary Wakeford, azcentral, "Couple finds the perfect Victorian home in Peoria. Take a look," 22 Aug. 2019 Would that explain why I haven’t been pestered by turkeys for some time or been awakened by their early morning calls in the valley? Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Are bobcats moving into Lafayette?," 31 July 2019 Antero, Gulfport and EQT have been pestered by activist investors. Stephanie Yang, WSJ, "Drillers Are Easing Off the Gas," 27 Jan. 2019 The most dogged fans had spent a decade pestering HBO executives and Deadwood cast members to return to their fiercely beloved but sparsely watched adult Western, and give it a proper finale. Noel Murray, The Verge, "The pros and cons of endless TV revivals," 27 June 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

17 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Pester.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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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