harass VERB 1) torment (someone) by subjecting them to constant interference or intimidation. 2) make repeated small-scale attacks on (an enemy) in order to wear down resistance.
DERIVATIVES harasser noun harassment noun.
USAGE The word harass is pronounced either with the stress on the har- or with the stress on the -rass; the first pronunciation, which is the older one, is considered by some people to be the only correct one, especially in British English.
ORIGIN French harasser, from harer 'set a dog on' .

English terms dictionary. 2015.

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  • harass — ha·rass /hə ras, har əs/ vt [Middle French harasser to exhaust, fatigue, from harer to set a dog on, from Old French hare, interjection used to incite dogs]: to subject persistently and wrongfully to annoying, offensive, or troubling behavior a… …   Law dictionary

  • harass — harass·ing; harass·ing·ly; harass·ment; harass; …   English syllables

  • Harass — Har ass (h[a^]r as or h[.a]*r[a^]s ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Harassed} (h[a^]r ast or h[.a]*r[a^]st ); p. pr. & vb. n. {Harassing}.] [F. harasser; cf. OF. harace a basket made of cords, harace, harasse,a very heavy and large shield; or harer to set …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • harass — UK US /ˈhærəs/, /həˈræs/ verb [T] ► to repeatedly annoy or upset someone over a period of time: »A university psychology professor has been arrested on accusations of using email to harass and torment employees at the school. be harrassed by sb… …   Financial and business terms

  • Harass — Har ass, n. 1. Devastation; waste. [Obs.] Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. Worry; harassment. [R.] Byron. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • harass — (v.) 1610s, 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 [Barnhart]. Originally to lay waste, devastate, sense of distress is from 1650s. Related: Harassed;… …   Etymology dictionary

  • harass — harry, *worry, annoy, plague, pester, tease, tantalize Analogous words: *bait, badger, hound, ride, hector, chivy, heckle: vex, irk, bother (see ANNOY) Contrasted words: *comfort, solace, console: *relieve, assuage, alleviate …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • harass — There are two pitfalls with this word meaning ‘to trouble or annoy repeatedly’ and its derivatives harassing, harassment, etc. One is the spelling, with only one r (unlike embarrass); the other is the pronunciation, which should be ha rǝs with… …   Modern English usage

  • harass — [v] badger annoy, attack, bait, bedevil, beleaguer, bother, bug*, burn*, despoil, devil*, distress, disturb, eat*, exasperate, exhaust, fatigue, foray, get to*, give a bad time*, give a hard time*, gnaw*, harry, hassle, heckle, hound*, intimidate …   New thesaurus

  • harass — [har′əs, hə ras′] vt. [Fr harasser < OFr harer, to set a dog on < hare, cry to incite dogs < OHG harēn, to call, cry out] 1. to trouble, worry, or torment, as with cares, debts, repeated questions, etc. 2. to trouble by repeated raids or …   English World dictionary

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