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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).
ha•rass•ment(həˈræs mənt, ˈhær əs-)
dun See SOLICITATION.
from pillar to post See DIRECTION.
get off [someone’s] back To stop bothering, irritating, or criticizing another person; similar to the currently popular get off [someone’s] case. This expression is usually spoken in the command form by a desperate victim of incessant nagging or harassment.
Then stop picking on me, will you? Get off my back, will you? (Joseph Heller, Catch-22, 1961)
the heat’s on The police are hot on one’s trail; the pressure is on. Heat can refer to a gun, a policeman, or other external source of pressure. In this originally U.S. slang expression dating from the early 20th century, heat combines the latter two meanings.
But the word went out that the government heat was on. The FBI was known to be relentless in its pursuit. (H. Corey, Farewell, Mr. Gangster, 1936)
The heat’s on currently applies to any pressure-ridden situation, though its most frequent usage is still police-related.
make it hot for To make things very uncomfortable or unpleasant for someone, especially through repeated harassment or persecution; to make trouble for. This expression and the variant to make it too hot for were precursors of the American slang phrase to turn the heat on ‘to apply pressure to.’
Caesar Augustus thought good to make that practice too hot for them. (Edmund Bolton, The Roman Histories of Lucius Julius Florus, translated 1618)
play cat and mouse with To tease, toy with, or torment; to be engaged in a power struggle in which one takes the role of cat, or oppressor, and victimizes the mouse, or weaker party; to outwit one’s opponent; to take part in a round of near capture and escape. The Cat-and-mouse Act, a nickname for the Prisoners Act of 1913 which enabled hunger strikers to be released temporarily, popularized use of the phrase cat and mouse in the early 1900s.
The Administration played a curious cat-and-mouse game with the Jewish self-defence organization. (Arthur Koestier, Promise and Fulfillment, 1949)
ride herd on See DOMINATION.
|Noun||1.||harassment - a feeling of intense annoyance caused by being tormented; "so great was his harassment that he wanted to destroy his tormentors"|
|2.||harassment - the act of tormenting by continued persistent attacks and criticism|
mistreatment - the practice of treating (someone or something) badly; "he should be punished for his mistreatment of his mother"
baiting - harassment especially of a tethered animal
sexual harassment - unwelcome sexual behavior by a supervisor toward an employee
tantalization, teasing, ribbing, tease - the act of harassing someone playfully or maliciously (especially by ridicule); provoking someone with persistent annoyances; "he ignored their teases"; "his ribbing was gentle but persistent"
witch-hunt - searching out and harassing dissenters