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[huh-ras, har-uh s] /həˈræs, ˈhær əs/
verb (used with object)
to disturb persistently; torment, as with troubles or cares; bother continually; pester; persecute.
to trouble by repeated attacks, incursions, etc., as in war or hostilities; harry; raid.
Origin of harass
1610-20; < French, Middle French harasser to harry, harass, verbal derivative of harace, harache (in phrase courre a la harace pursue), equivalent to hare cry used to urge dogs on (< Frankish *hara here, from this side; compare Old High German hera, Middle Dutch hare) + -asse augmentative or pejorative suffix < Latin -ācea
Related forms
harassable, adjective
harasser, noun
harassingly, adverb
harassment, noun
overharass, verb (used with object)
unharassed, adjective
1. badger, vex, plague, hector torture. See worry. 2. molest.
Pronunciation note
harass , a 17th-century French borrowing, has traditionally been pronounced
[har-uh s] /ˈhær əs/ (Show IPA)
with stress on the first syllable. A newer pronunciation,
[huh-ras] /həˈræs/
has developed in North American (but not British) English. While this newer pronunciation is sometimes criticized by older educated speakers, it has become the more common one in the U.S., especially among younger educated speakers, some of whom have only minimal familiarity with the older form. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unharassed
Historical Examples
  • And he lived, unharassed by apprehensions, in the lively joy of the moment.

    The Regent E. Arnold Bennett
  • That is the way—quiet, steady, continuous thinking, uninterrupted and unharassed brooding.

    Pioneers of Science Oliver Lodge
  • Here she would pass the perilous hours in safety, unharassed by the need of watching against her stealthy foes.

    The Kindred of the Wild Charles G. D. Roberts
  • And looking so smooth and ordinary and unharassed too, at the moment everyone else is tearing himself with panic or anguish.

  • Her unharassed countenance showed it, especially when, as at this moment, she looked harassed.

    Prisoners Mary Cholmondeley
  • Then, unharassed, undelayed by vain words and futile appeals from without—all would go well.

    Prisoners Mary Cholmondeley
  • The seeming objectless cannonade secured the unharassed home-coming of the 4000 way-weary marchers from Dundee.

  • Personally I have not known a Scientist who did not seem serene, contented, unharassed.

    Christian Science Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • He came up to Squitty one bright afternoon when the sea was flat and still, unharassed by the westerly.

    Poor Man's Rock Bertrand W. Sinclair
British Dictionary definitions for unharassed


/ˈhærəs; həˈræs/
(transitive) to trouble, torment, or confuse by continual persistent attacks, questions, etc
Derived Forms
harassed, adjective
harassing, adjective, noun
harassment, noun
Word Origin
C17: from French harasser, variant of Old French harer to set a dog on, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German harēn to cry out
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
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Word Origin and History for unharassed



1610s, from French harasser "tire out, vex," possibly from Old French harer "set a dog on," and perhaps blended with Old French harier "to harry, draw, drag" [Barnhart]. Originally "to lay waste, devastate," sense of "distress" is from 1650s. Related: Harassed; harassing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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