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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.
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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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Antonyms

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

Related Words

angerdiscontentpiquebotheringdistressbotherationdispleasureexasperationfrustrationharassmentindignationirascibilityirritationprovocationunhappinessvexation

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?

  • "No, they ain't courting, either," she informed the pestering neighbors.

  • Joe's eyes flicked to the other two who had been pestering the little fellow.

    Mercenary

    Dallas McCord Reynolds


British Dictionary definitions for pestering

pester

verb
  1. (tr) to annoy or nag continually
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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 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper