from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To disturb, distress, or exhaust by repeated demands or criticism; harass. synonym: harass.
  • transitive verb To attack or raid, as in war.
  • transitive verb To force along, as by attacks or blows.
  • transitive verb To batter or buffet. Used of the wind or storms.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make a hostile incursion upon; ravage by war or invasion; make forced exactions upon; harass by rapacity or violent demands; despoil; strip; rob.
  • To trouble; vex; harass; agitate; tease; harrow.
  • To draw or drag violently.
  • To make harassing incursions.
  • noun A playing-card having a slight blemish on one surface.
  • noun A common personal name, also used in various extraneous applications. See ' Arry, and Old Harry, under old.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To strip; to pillage; to lay waste.
  • transitive verb To agitate; to worry; to harrow; to harass.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To make a predatory incursion; to plunder or lay waste.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To bother; to trouble.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb make a pillaging or destructive raid on (a place), as in wartimes
  • verb annoy continually or chronically


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English harien, from Old English hergian; see koro- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English harien, herien, from Old English hergian ‘to pillage, plunder’, from Proto-Germanic *harjōnan (compare East Frisian ferheerje, German verheeren ‘to harry, devastate’), from Proto-Germanic *harjaz (“army”) (compare Old English here, West Frisian hear, Dutch hee, German Heer), from Proto-Indo-European *kori̯os (compare Middle Irish cuire ‘army’, Lithuanian kãrias ‘army; war’, Old Church Slavonic kara ‘strife’, Ancient Greek koíranos ‘chief, commander’, Old Persian kāra ‘army’).


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word harry.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "I'm Just Wild About Harry," Eubie Blake.

    February 11, 2008

  • Harry harries me with his harrowing stories.

    August 21, 2008