harass

[huh-ras, har-uhs]
verb (used with object)
1.
to disturb persistently; torment, as with troubles or cares; bother continually; pester; persecute.
2.
to trouble by repeated attacks, incursions, etc., as in war or hostilities; harry; raid.

Origin:
1610–20; < French, Middle French harasser to harry, harass, v. derivative of harace, harache (in phrase courre a la harace pursue) = hare cry used to urge dogs on (< Frankish *hara here, from this side; compare Old High German hera, Middle Dutch hare) + -asse augmentative or pejorative suffix < Latin -ācea

harassable, adjective
harasser, noun
harassingly, adverb
harassment, noun
overharass, verb (used with object)
unharassed, adjective


1. badger, vex, plague, hector torture. See worry. 2. molest.


harass , a 17th-century French borrowing, has traditionally been pronounced [har-uhs] with stress on the first syllable. A newer pronunciation, [huh-ras] has developed in North American (but not British) English. While this newer pronunciation is sometimes criticized by older educated speakers, it has become the more common one in the U.S., especially among younger educated speakers, some of whom have only minimal familiarity with the older form.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
harass (ˈhærəs, həˈræs)
 
vb
(tr) to trouble, torment, or confuse by continual persistent attacks, questions, etc
 
[C17: from French harasser, variant of Old French harer to set a dog on, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German harēn to cry out]
 
'harassed
 
adj
 
'harassing
 
adj, —n
 
'harassment
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

harass
1618, from Fr. harasser "tire out, vex," possibly from O.Fr. harer "set a dog on," and perhaps blended with O.Fr. harier "to harry, draw, drag." Originally "to lay waste, devastate," sense of "distress" is from 1656.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Collection agencies harass workers at their places of employment, threatening
  their jobs.
They watch other birds fish, then harass them until they drop their catches.
If I were to get harassed on a website, i would simply report the person who is
  harassing me.
Inside the zoo were a new public alert system and signs warning visitors not to
  harass the animals.
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