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pester

[pes-ter] /ˈpɛs tər/
verb (used with object)
1.
to bother persistently with petty annoyances; trouble:
Don't pester me with your trivial problems.
2.
Obsolete. to overcrowd.
Origin of pester
1530-1540
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 forms
pesterer, noun
pesteringly, adverb
pestersome, adjective
unpestered, adjective
Synonyms
1. annoy, vex, tease, disturb; irritate, provoke, plague; badger, harry, hector.
Antonyms
1. delight, entertain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pester
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I blurted out "What is he that he should pester his betters with his attentions?"

    John Splendid Neil Munro
  • So long as they think she's got a cent comin' to her they'll pester her in every way they can, I believe.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • I hope you will succeed, for the girl doesn't want Richard, and it is a shame to pester her and the poor old squire.

    Ande Trembath Matthew Stanley Kemp
  • Do you want me to pester every office in the government with new inquiries?

    Paul Patoff F. Marion Crawford
  • He can, when necessary, pester responsible persons till they are goaded into action.

    Personality in Literature Rolfe Arnold Scott-James
  • Any dogs that can trace the elephant and pester him with their barring would do.

    The Bush Boys Captain Mayne Reid
  • For a little time all goes well; then thistles, burdocks, mulleins, and briers come to pester him and increase his labors.

  • What right had she to pester him with questions like that in his own house?

    Reginald Cruden Talbot Baines Reed
  • She could not know anything, and why did they want to pester the poor thing?

    The Shepherd of the North Richard Aumerle Maher
British Dictionary definitions for pester

pester

/ˈpɛstə/
verb
1.
(transitive) to annoy or nag continually
Derived Forms
pesterer, noun
pesteringly, 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
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Word Origin and History for 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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