harass

[ huh-ras, har-uhs ]
/ həˈræs, ˈhær əs /

verb (used with object)

to disturb or bother persistently; torment, as with troubles or cares; pester: He stays up late, harassed with doubt and anxiety.
to intimidate or coerce, as with persistent demands or threats: Apparently a parent has been harassing the school principal with late-night phone calls.
to subject to unwelcome sexual advances: I was harassed by my boss many years ago.
to trouble by repeated attacks, incursions, etc., as in war or hostilities; harry; raid.

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Origin of harass

First recorded in 1610–20; from 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” (from Frankish hara (unattested) “here, from this side”; compare Old High German hera, Middle Dutch hare ) + -asse augmentative or pejorative suffix, from Latin -ācea

synonym study for harass

1. See worry.

pronunciation note for harass

harass , a 17th-century borrowing from French, has traditionally been pronounced in English as [har-uhs], /ˈhær əs/, with stress on the first syllable. A newer pronunciation, [huh-ras], /həˈræs/, has developed in North American (but not British) English and has become the more common one in the U.S., especially among younger speakers.

OTHER WORDS FROM harass

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for harass

British Dictionary definitions for harass

harass
/ (ˈhærəs, həˈræs) /

verb

(tr) to trouble, torment, or confuse by continual persistent attacks, questions, etc

Derived forms of harass

harassed, adjectiveharassing, adjective, nounharassment, noun

Word Origin for harass

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