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[pes-ter] /ˈpɛs tər/
verb (used with object)
to bother persistently with petty annoyances; trouble:
Don't pester me with your trivial problems.
Obsolete. to overcrowd.
Origin of pester
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
1. annoy, vex, tease, disturb; irritate, provoke, plague; badger, harry, hector.
1. delight, entertain. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pestersome
Historical Examples
  • The students forgave him his pestersome ways, his frequent torturing of them with banjo-twanging and rollicking ballads.

    T. Haviland Hicks Senior J. Raymond Elderdice
British Dictionary definitions for pestersome


(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
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Word Origin and History for pestersome



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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