Definition of harass in English:

harass

Line breaks: har¦ass
Pronunciation: /ˈharəs
 
, həˈras
 
/

verb

[with object]
1Subject to aggressive pressure or intimidation: if someone is being harassed at work because of their sexuality they should contact the police
More example sentences
  • A pensioner who was harassed by aggressive beggars in Swindon town centre has backed a campaign to stop vagrants pestering shoppers for cash.
  • It would assume that anyone who says they don't own a car at all is lying and it would harass them continually with aggressive letters and vague threats.
  • Both harass the unemployed, pressuring them further into exploitative employment.
Synonyms
pester, badger, hound, harry, plague, torment, bedevil, persecute, bother, annoy, exasperate, worry, disturb, trouble, agitate, provoke, vex; stress, stress out, nag, keep on at, chivvy; tease, bait, molest
informal hassle, bug, give someone a hard time, drive someone up the wall, drive someone round the bend
Northern English informal mither
North American informal devil, ride
1.1Make repeated small-scale attacks on (an enemy): the squadron’s task was to harass the retreating enemy forces
More example sentences
  • In addition the crusaders used light cavalry and horse archers in large numbers to harass the enemy, to scout, and to supplement the knights.
  • Our pilots were used to harassing the enemy by strafing rail and truck areas, infantry and anything that moved.
  • The wise general never gives battle but on favourable ground; and until he has found it, he manoeuvres, skirmishes, and harasses the enemy.
Synonyms
harry, attack repeatedly, raid, press hard, beleaguer, set upon, assail, maraud, ravage, oppress

Origin

early 17th century: from French harasser, from harer 'set a dog on', from Germanic hare, a cry urging a dog to attack.

Usage

There are two possible pronunciations of the word harass: one with the stress on the har- and the other with the stress on the -ass. The former pronunciation is the older one and is regarded by some people as the only correct one, especially in British English. However, the pronunciation with the stress on the second syllable -rass is very common and is now accepted as a standard alternative.

Derivatives

harasser

noun
More example sentences
  • As a result of some histrionic accusations of being ‘sexist pornographers’ and sexual harassers, my friend and I were rousted from our beds by the campus Gestapo at a ridiculously early hour.
  • A large group of the harassers, led by a security policewoman, surrounded the car and yelled abuse.
  • It is akin to asking sexual harassers to assess themselves when it is obvious they find their behaviour acceptable on their own terms.

harassingly

adverb
More example sentences
  • The trooper, still harassingly close behind, was also lingering and not turning on his lights.
  • Nowadays these artificial limitations are no longer bound to exploding online costs or harassingly slow connections.
  • If ‘activation’ should require that I had to apply to Adobe every time this happened, I'd consider it harassingly burdensome and unacceptable.

More definitions of harass

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