Definition of molest in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /məˈlest/


[with object]
1Assault or abuse (a person, especially a woman or child) sexually: he was charged with molesting and taking obscene photographs of a ten-year-old boy
More example sentences
  • We know he abused and sexually molested children.
  • The singer has now been formally charged with sexually molesting a child after giving him alcohol.
  • A private hire driver who sexually molested a teenage girl in his cab has been jailed for three years.
(sexually) abuse, (sexually) assault, interfere with, rape, violate
informal grope, paw, fondle
literary ravish
2 dated Pester or harass (someone), typically in an aggressive or persistent manner: the crowd was shouting abuse and molesting the two police officers
More example sentences
  • I hereby apply to have the said demand set aside and to stop the Defendant and their agent and solicitor from harassing and molesting me.
  • If anyone should try to molest him or thieve from him, the dogs were there on hand to attack them.
  • The army was warned not to molest the citizens in any manner, and the commanders were cautioned exercise maximum vigilance to this end.
harass, harry, hassle, pester, bother, annoy, beset, persecute, torment
informal roust


Late Middle English (in the sense 'cause trouble to, vex'): from Old French molester or Latin molestare 'annoy', from molestus 'troublesome'.

Words that rhyme with molest

abreast, arrest, attest, beau geste, behest, bequest, best, blessed, blest, breast, Brest, Bucharest, Budapest, celeste, chest, contest, crest, digest, divest, guest, hest, infest, ingest, jest, lest, Midwest, nest, northwest, pest, prestressed, protest, quest, rest, self-addressed, self-confessed, self-possessed, southwest, suggest, test, Trieste, unaddressed, unexpressed, unimpressed, unpressed, unstressed, vest, west, wrest, zest

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mo·lest

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.