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harry

[har-ee]
verb (used with object), har·ried, har·ry·ing.
  1. to harass, annoy, or prove a nuisance to by or as if by repeated attacks; worry: He was harried by constant doubts.
  2. to ravage, as in war; devastate: The troops harried the countryside.
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verb (used without object), har·ried, har·ry·ing.
  1. to make harassing incursions.
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Origin of harry

before 900; Middle English herien, Old English her(g)ian (derivative of here army); cognate with German verheeren, Old Norse herja to harry, lay waste
Related formsun·har·ried, adjective

Synonyms

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

Related Words

beleaguersacktormentravagemolestworrybadgergnawperturbvexattackirkpersecutedevastatepillageplunderplaguetroublefretbedevil

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British Dictionary definitions for harrying

harry

verb -ries, -rying or -ried
  1. (tr) to harass; worry
  2. to ravage (a town, etc), esp in war
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Word Origin

Old English hergian; related to here army, Old Norse herja to lay waste, Old High German heriōn
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 harrying

harry

v.

Old English hergian "make war, lay waste, ravage, plunder," the word used in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" for what the Vikings did to England, from Proto-Germanic verb *harohan (cf. Old Frisian urheria "lay waste, ravage, plunder," Old Norse herja "to make a raid, to plunder," Old Saxon and Old High German herion, German verheeren "to destroy, lay waste, devastate"), from *harjaz "an armed force" (cf. Old English here, Old Norse herr "crowd, great number; army, troop," Old Saxon and Old Frisian heri, Dutch heir, Old High German har, German Heer "host, army," Gothic harjis), from PIE root *koro- "war" (cf. Lithuanian karas "war, quarrel," karias "host, army;" Old Church Slavonic kara "strife;" Middle Irish cuire "troop;" Old Persian kara "host, people, army;" Greek koiranos "ruler, leader, commander"). Weakened sense of "worry, goad, harass" is from c.1400. Related: Harried; harrying.

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Harry

masc. proper name, a familiar form of Henry. Weekley takes the overwhelming number of Harris and Harrison surnames as evidence that "Harry," not "Henry," was the Middle English pronunciation of Henry. Also cf. Harriet, English equivalent of French Henriette, fem. diminutive of Henri. Nautical slang Harriet Lane "preserved meat" (1896) refers to a famous murder victim whose killer allegedly chopped up her body.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper