Definition of harry in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈhari/

verb (harries, harrying, harried)

[with object]
1Persistently carry out attacks on (an enemy or an enemy’s territory): the raiders then spent three months harrying and burning the area
More example sentences
  • The king's adoption of Danish tactics in the winter of 878, such as his use of strongholds and small mobile raiding parties to harry the lands of his enemies, was forced upon him by immediate circumstances.
  • To combat air attacks, and to harry the long-range German Focke-Wulf Kondor aircraft which acted as reconnaissance for the U-boats, makeshift efforts were made to give air cover, before escort carriers were introduced.
  • Their mission is to blow up bridges, block roads and generally harry and destroy any enemy forces with which they come into contact.
attack, assail, assault, maraud, ravage, devastate, wreak havoc on;
literary despoil
rare depredate, reave, spoliate
1.1Persistently harass: the government is being mercilessly harried by a new lobby
More example sentences
  • He continued to attack, harry and chase every ball and was rewarded late on with a dramatic Golden Goal.
  • Fabrizio Ravanelli had been impressive harrying the home defenders but had contributed little in attack until he took possession on the right touchline.
  • Without firm figures, they continued to harry Doig to find them.
harassed, hard-pressed, beleaguered, agitated, flustered, bothered, troubled, distressed, vexed, beset, hag-ridden, hounded, plagued, tormented
British informal under the cosh
harass, hound, pressurize, bring pressure to bear on, put pressure on, lean on, keep on at, go on at, chivvy, bedevil, torment, pester, bother, disturb, worry, annoy, badger, nag, plague, persecute, molest
informal hassle, bug, give someone a hard time, drive someone round the bend, drive someone up the wall, be in someone's hair, get on someone's back, breathe down someone's neck


Old English herian, hergian, of Germanic origin, probably influenced by Old French harier, in the same sense.

Words that rhyme with harry

Barry, Carrie, carry, Cary, Clarrie, Gary, glengarry, intermarry, lari, Larry, marry, miscarry, parry, tarry

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: harry

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.