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

v harass or assault sexually; make indecent advances to

Type of:
assail, assault, attack, set on
attack someone physically or emotionally

v annoy continually or chronically

beset, chevvy, chevy, chivvy, chivy, harass, harry, hassle, plague, provoke
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goad, needle
goad or provoke, as by constant criticism
bedevil, crucify, dun, frustrate, rag, torment
treat cruelly
harass by imposing humiliating or painful tasks, as in military institutions
drive up the wall; get on someone's nerves
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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