molest

To molest someone is to annoy or attack them. Although the word was first used to mean "pester," now it is more typically used to refer to criminal abuse.

The verb molest can be used to talk about any kind of persistent harassment, but it most commonly describes an unwanted or aggressive sexual attack. To molest someone in this in way is a very serious criminal assault. The word originally meant simply "to cause trouble or grief," and it comes from the Latin word molestare, "to disturb, trouble, or annoy." It wasn't used to mean "attack sexually" until about 1950.

Definitions of molest
  1. verb
    harass or assault sexually; make indecent advances to
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    type of:
    assail, assault, attack, set on
    attack someone physically or emotionally
  2. verb
    annoy continually or chronically
    synonyms: beset, chevvy, chevy, chivvy, chivy, harass, harry, hassle, plague, provoke
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    types:
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    goad, needle
    goad or provoke, as by constant criticism
    bedevil, crucify, dun, frustrate, rag, torment
    treat cruelly
    haze
    harass by imposing humiliating or painful tasks, as in military institutions
    madden
    drive up the wall; get on someone's nerves
    hamstring
    make ineffective or powerless
    badger, beleaguer, bug, pester, tease
    annoy persistently
    oppress, persecute
    cause to suffer
    type of:
    annoy, bother, chafe, devil, get at, get to, gravel, irritate, nark, nettle, rag, rile, vex
    cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations
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