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pester

[pes-ter]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to bother persistently with petty annoyances; trouble: Don't pester me with your trivial problems.
  2. Obsolete. to overcrowd.

Origin of pester

1530–40; perhaps aphetic variant of empester, impester to tangle, encumber (though pester is found earlier than these 2 words) < Middle French empestrer to hobble, entangle < Vulgar Latin *impāstōriāre to hobble, equivalent to im- im-1 + pāstōri(a) a hobble, noun use of Latin pāstōrius of a herdsman or shepherd + -āre infinitive suffix (see pastor); aphetic form apparently reinforced by pest (cf. -er6)
Related formspes·ter·er, nounpes·ter·ing·ly, adverbpes·ter·some, adjectiveun·pes·tered, adjective

Synonyms

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1. annoy, vex, tease, disturb; irritate, provoke, plague; badger, harry, hector.

Antonyms

1. delight, entertain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pestered

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I know not what I have written—I am pestered with people around me.

  • He has pestered me to get back there ever since I showed him over the place the day he arrived.

  • But the mere trooth is, parson, I'm pestered by them promises I makes deeceased.

    Faro Nell and Her Friends

    Alfred Henry Lewis

  • He says she knows enough; an' he ain't goin' t' have her pestered.

    Janet of the Dunes

    Harriet T. Comstock

  • After that I wanted to write to him every day and pestered Mahananda accordingly.

    My Reminiscences

    Rabindranath Tagore


British Dictionary definitions for pestered

pester

verb
  1. (tr) to annoy or nag continually
Derived Formspesterer, nounpesteringly, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from Old French empestrer to hobble (a horse), from Vulgar Latin impāstōriāre (unattested) to use a hobble, from pāstōria (unattested) a hobble, from Latin pāstōrius relating to a herdsman, from pastor herdsman
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for pestered

pester

v.

1520s, "to clog, entangle, encumber," probably a shortening of Middle French empestrer "place in an embarrassing situation" (Modern French empêtrer, Walloon epasturer), from Vulgar Latin *impastoriare "to hobble" (an animal), from Latin im- "in" + Medieval Latin pastoria (chorda) "(rope) to hobble an animal," from Latin pastoria, fem. of pastorius "of a herdsman," from pastor "herdsman" (see pastor (n.)). Sense of "annoy, trouble" (1560s) is from influence of pest. Related: Pestered; pestering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper