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Synonym Chooser

How is the word badger distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of badger are bait, chivy, heckle, hector, and hound. While all these words mean "to harass by efforts to break down," badger implies pestering so as to drive a person to confusion or frenzy.

badgered her father for a car

When could bait be used to replace badger?

The words bait and badger are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, bait implies wanton cruelty or delight in persecuting a helpless victim.

baited the chained dog

When might chivy be a better fit than badger?

The words chivy and badger can be used in similar contexts, but chivy suggests persecution by teasing or nagging.

chivied the new student mercilessly

When is it sensible to use heckle instead of badger?

The synonyms heckle and badger are sometimes interchangeable, but heckle implies persistent annoying or belligerent interruptions of a speaker.

drunks heckled the stand-up comic

In what contexts can hector take the place of badger?

Although the words hector and badger have much in common, hector carries an implication of bullying and domineering.

football players hectored by their coach

When would hound be a good substitute for badger?

The meanings of hound and badger largely overlap; however, hound implies unrelenting pursuit and harassing.

hounded by creditors

Thesaurus Entries Near badger

Cite this Entry

“Badger.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

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