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 (hə-răs′, hăr′əs)
tr.v. ha·rassed, ha·rass·ing, ha·rass·es
1. To subject (another) to hostile or prejudicial remarks or actions; pressure or intimidate.
2. To irritate or torment persistently: His mind was harassed by doubts and misgivings.
3. To make repeated attacks or raids on (an enemy, for example).

[French harasser, from Old French (a la) harache, (a la) harace (as in courre a la harache, to chase) : hare, call used to set dogs on (of Germanic origin; see ko- in Indo-European roots) + -ache, -ace, deprecative n. suff.]

ha·rass′er n.
ha·rass′ment n.
Synonyms: harass, harry, hound, badger, pester, plague
These verbs mean to trouble persistently or incessantly. Harass and harry imply systematic persecution by besieging with repeated annoyances, threats, or demands: The landlord harassed the tenants who were behind in their rent. "John Adams and John Quincy Adams, pillars of personal rectitude, were harried throughout their presidencies by accusations of corruption, fraud, and abuses of power" (Alan Brinkley and Davis Dyer).
Hound suggests unrelenting pursuit to gain a desired end: Reporters hounded the celebrity for an interview. To badger is to nag or entreat persistently: The child badgered his parents for a new bicycle. To pester is to inflict a succession of petty annoyances: "How she would have pursued and pestered me with questions and surmises" (Charlotte Brontë).
Plague refers to a problem likened to a noxious disease: "As I have no estate, I am plagued with no tenants or stewards" (Henry Fielding).
Usage Note: The pronunciation of harass with stress on the first syllable (rhyming roughly with Paris) is the older, traditional pronunciation. The pronunciation with stress on the second syllable (rhyming roughly with surpass) is a newer pronunciation that first occurred in American English. Its use has steadily increased since the mid-1900s. In our 1987 survey, 50 percent of the Usage Panel preferred the pronunciation with stress on the first syllable, and 50 percent preferred stress on the second syllable. Fourteen years later, in our 2001 survey, preference for stress on the first syllable dropped to 30 percent while preference for stress on the second syllable rose to 70 percent. The results from our 2013 survey suggest that this trend away from the traditional pronunciation has continued: only 10 percent preferred the stress on the first syllable, whereas 90 percent preferred the pronunciation with the stress on the second syllable. In fact, in 2013, 35 percent of the Panel considered the pronunciation with the stress on the first syllable to be unacceptable. The original pronunciation has almost completely given way in only a few decades, at least in the United States.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.harasser - a persistent tormentor
persecutor, tormenter, tormentor - someone who torments
2.harasser - a persistent attacker; "the harassers were not members of the regular army"
aggressor, assailant, assaulter, attacker - someone who attacks
References in periodicals archive ?
001 Table 2 Differences between Experimental Groups when Harasser Gender and Victim Gender are Considered Group Gender Group T Score Significance Comparison Level Control Male Victim 2.
Victim, as well as harasser, may be a man or woman.
Under the legal staff's interpretation, the company could be required to notify the alleged harasser that a report from an outside expert may be obtained, and get his permission to obtain her report ahead of time.
Sexual harassment can come from anywhere, Mike, and it reflects on the harasser NOT you
The question of liability only arises once it has been determined that unlawful harassment has occurred and only when the harasser is in a supervisory position over (directly or indirectly) the employee being harassed.
They either think it happens to everyone else, so it's not a big deal, or they're afraid if they say something, the harasser will get really mad and hurt them or tease them more.
In the 1980s and '9os, state and federal courts took, as Justice Antonin Scalia noted in the Oncale opinion, "a bewildering variety of stances" on this issue: Some held that same-sex harassment claims were not actionable under any circumstances; others, that they were actionable if the harasser was gay and therefore motivated by sexual desire; still others, that they were actionable under any circumstances.
It is never explained how he got there, or why, when he knocks on the man's door, the agitated Gordon Smallwood (Will Patton, adding nice extra levels of pathos to his usual, unhinged specialty) treats John like a serial harasser.
Ideally, dance schools and companies should have a specific policy in place, including a "safe contact person," as well as penalties against the harasser who files a false complaint.
My adversary is a shadowy harasser who pesters people with his unsigned mail, spewing bile and contempt and making them wonder if they have a cause of legal action as victims of a hate crime.
The Court concluded that regardless of the type of harassment, if the harasser is the victim's supervisor, the employer ought to be held vicariously liable for the improper sexual conduct of the supervisor.
Without acute sensitivity, the accuser and/or the alleged harasser can also have their reputations and careers destroyed, whether or not the allegations are truthful.