Synonym Chooser

How does the verb pester contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of pester are annoy, harass, harry, plague, tease, and worry. While all these words mean "to disturb or irritate by persistent acts," pester stresses the repetition of petty attacks.

constantly pestered with trivial complaints

When could annoy be used to replace pester?

The words annoy and pester can be used in similar contexts, but annoy implies disturbing one's composure or peace of mind by intrusion, interference, or petty attacks.

you're doing that just to annoy me

When can harass be used instead of pester?

In some situations, the words harass and pester are roughly equivalent. However, harass implies petty persecutions or burdensome demands that exhaust one's nervous or mental power.

harassed on all sides by creditors

When would harry be a good substitute for pester?

Although the words harry and pester have much in common, harry may imply heavy oppression or maltreatment.

the strikers had been harried by thugs

In what contexts can plague take the place of pester?

The words plague and pester are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, plague implies a painful and persistent affliction.

plagued all her life by poverty

When might tease be a better fit than pester?

While in some cases nearly identical to pester, tease suggests an attempt to break down one's resistance or rouse to wrath.

children teased the dog

When is worry a more appropriate choice than pester?

The meanings of worry and pester largely overlap; however, worry implies an incessant goading or attacking that drives one to desperation.

pursued a policy of worrying the enemy

Thesaurus Entries Near pester

Cite this Entry

“Pester.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on pester

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