Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

pester

[pes-ter] /ˈpɛs tər/
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
1530-1540
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 forms
pesterer, noun
pesteringly, adverb
pestersome, adjective
unpestered, adjective
Synonyms
1. annoy, vex, tease, disturb; irritate, provoke, plague; badger, harry, hector.
Antonyms
1. delight, entertain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for pestering
Historical Examples
  • What do you mean by pestering Marcoline at the theatre yesterday?

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • But we couldn't have talked with that fellow, Doyle, pestering us.

    General John Regan George A. Birmingham
  • What's the good of pestering me with questions at this awful time?

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • "No, they ain't courting, either," she informed the pestering neighbors.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • Joe's eyes flicked to the other two who had been pestering the little fellow.

    Mercenary Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • Why not, if he goes on pestering, and pestering, and pestering?

    White Lies Charles Reade
  • I will be here to see you, if you still persist in pestering me.

    The Golden Face William Le Queux
  • Can't drive him away with a club; been pestering me an hour.

    Dominie Dean Ellis Parker Butler
  • This Adonis Im talking about is pestering Clara with his attentions.

  • She was pestering him unmercifully for what he already owed her.

    In Pawn Ellis Parker Butler
British Dictionary definitions for pestering

pester

/ˈpɛstə/
verb
1.
(transitive) to annoy or nag continually
Derived Forms
pesterer, noun
pesteringly, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for pestering

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for pestering

Word Value for pestering

12
15
Scrabble Words With Friends