Definition of harass in US English:

harass

verb

[with object]
  • 1Subject to aggressive pressure or intimidation.

    ‘being harassed at work can leave you feeling confused and helpless’
    • ‘First, until 1965, African-Americans were harassed and intimidated at the polls by whites and it was LEGAL.’
    • ‘Both harass the unemployed, pressuring them further into exploitative employment.’
    • ‘We have seen thugs, employed by powerful people, intimidating and harassing journalists.’
    • ‘But will they be able to keep themselves away from the culture of intimidating and harassing their oppositions?’
    • ‘Ms. O'Neill, the sexual-health educator, says she frequently gets complaints from parents who believe that their sons are being harassed by girls.’
    • ‘Researchers are harassed, and pressured against distributing their work.’
    • ‘And I am still being harassed and intimidated to this day.’
    • ‘The girl had been harassed for dowry by her in-laws since her marriage two years ago, but this year they had become particularly cruel towards her.’
    • ‘A pensioner who was harassed by aggressive beggars in Swindon town centre has backed a campaign to stop vagrants pestering shoppers for cash.’
    • ‘I wouldn't drop the subject though, and harassed him all the way down to his locker and out the school's front door.’
    • ‘He was pressured and harassed all day, making his fourth quarter performance all the more impressive.’
    • ‘Many of the girls pointed out that the boys should realise that harassing a girl will end up having negative consequences for them too.’
    • ‘In the past, there have been reports that this day is used by boys to harass girls in some north Indian cities like Jaipur, much as they would do during Holi.’
    • ‘A local woman had seized Wang, 47, whom she said was following girl students and sexually harassing them.’
    • ‘If older girls do harass you, talk to a guidance counselor - that's what she's there for.’
    • ‘It would assume that anyone who says they don't own a car at all is lying and it would harass them continually with aggressive letters and vague threats.’
    • ‘The prosecutor harassed me and pressured me enormously.’
    • ‘Dr. Das Dasgupta said that women are pressured and harassed by husbands demanding that their wives give birth to boys.’
    • ‘In last year's presidential elections, the main opposition candidate - a Hutu - was harassed, his supporters intimidated and ballot stuffing was rife.’
    • ‘A 33-year-old man who harassed a teenage girl and her family has lost an appeal against his conviction.’
    pester, badger, hound, harry, plague, torment, bedevil, persecute, bother, annoy, exasperate, worry, disturb, trouble, agitate, provoke, vex
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Make repeated small-scale attacks on (an enemy)
      ‘the squadron's task was to harass the retreating enemy forces’
      • ‘He was subsequently harassed by hordes of aggressive mice, and despite taking refuge in a tower in the middle of the Rhine, was eventually eaten by his pursuers.’
      • ‘Remnants of the enemy have slipped into the civilian population and continue to harass coalition forces.’
      • ‘While Platt was striking into Eritrea, Cunningham began his operations by harassing the Italians with raids from Kenya.’
      • ‘conspirators, harassed by their enemies, and often at odds among themselves, scrambled through civil war and Japanese invasion to seize power.’
      • ‘Soon Vova and his sister join the partisans and are doing what they can to harass the enemy.’
      • ‘Our pilots were used to harassing the enemy by strafing rail and truck areas, infantry and anything that moved.’
      • ‘Some governments gave pirates and privateers safe harbor to earn revenues or to harass their enemies.’
      • ‘We, the Animal Rights Militia, have looked on for some years now as members of animal rights organisations such as the animal liberation front have attacked your property and harassed you.’
      • ‘Now they're under your control, and you can call them from the sands and direct them to harass your enemies.’
      • ‘From Tunisia, a guerrilla army of tens of thousands of troops harassed French units arrayed along the border.’
      • ‘Starlings can be aggressive and will persistently harass other species to take over nesting cavities.’
      • ‘Often, cavalry came out to harass enemy armies as they scattered to plunder, slowing down progress even further.’
      • ‘Drawing a card from the deck will summon one inconvenience with which the wielder can harass his foes.’
      • ‘The besiegers lacked artillery, and their communications were harassed by the aggressive Enniskillen men.’
      • ‘They followed the patrols, harassing them by throwing rocks and yelling profanities.’
      • ‘Visiting human rights groups have been routinely harassed by the army and threatened and attacked by militias.’
      • ‘In addition the crusaders used light cavalry and horse archers in large numbers to harass the enemy, to scout, and to supplement the knights.’
      • ‘In other instances, the enemy will harass a convoy with small arms fire, enticing the unit to dismount and return fire.’
      • ‘The wise general never gives battle but on favourable ground; and until he has found it, he manoeuvres, skirmishes, and harasses the enemy.’
      • ‘It will be used to support hit-and-run, ambush, and harassing, and urban warface missions.’
      harry, attack repeatedly, raid, press hard, beleaguer, set upon, assail, maraud, ravage, oppress
      View synonyms

Usage

Traditionally, the word harass has been pronounced with stress on the first syllable, as “HAR-us.” But the newer pronunciation that puts the stress on the second syllable ("huh-RAS") is increasingly more widespread and is considered standard. This is also true for harassed and harassment

Origin

Early 17th century: from French harasser, from harer ‘set a dog on’, from Germanic hare, a cry urging a dog to attack.

Pronunciation