Definitions

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

  • transitive verb To annoy persistently, as with repeated demands or questions. synonym: harass.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • l. To crowd; encumber; clog; fill; cram.
  • To trouble, disturb, or annoy, especially with repeated acts of an annoying kind; harass with petty vexations; plague; worry.
  • Synonyms Bother, Plague, etc. See tease.
  • noun Encumbrance; obstruction.
  • noun A trouble; bother; plague.

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

  • transitive verb To trouble; to disturb; to annoy; to harass with petty vexations.
  • transitive verb obsolete To crowd together in an annoying way; to overcrowd; to infest.

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

  • verb transitive To bother, harass or annoy persistently.

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

  • verb annoy persistently

Etymologies

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

[Probably short for French empestrer, to constrain, embarrass (probably also influenced by pest), from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *impāstōriāre : Latin in-, in; see in– + Vulgar Latin *pāstōria, a hobble, from Latin, feminine of pāstōrius, of a herdsman (from pāstor, herdsman; see pā- in Indo-European roots).]

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