Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 17, 2021 is:

harry • HAIR-ee  • verb

1 : to make a pillaging or destructive raid on : assault

2 : to force to move along by harassing

3 : to torment by or as if by constant attack


Seven-year-old Kaitlyn harried her little sister with pokes, hair pulling, and teasing, badgering her until she burst into tears.

“There was little puck support in either zone. The Rangers were pinned for shifts at a time and were harried into turnovers while unable to apply more than token pressure in the offensive zone.” — Larry Brooks, The New York Post, 20 Apr. 2021

Did you know?

Was there once a warlike man named Harry who is the source for the English verb the name mirrors? One particularly belligerent Harry does come to mind: William Shakespeare once described how “famine, sword, and fire” accompanied “the warlike Harry,” England’s King Henry the Fifth. But neither this king nor any of his namesakes are the source for the verb harry. Rather, harry (or a word resembling it) has been a part of English for as long as there has been anything that could be called English. It took the form hergian in Old English and harien in Middle English, passing through numerous variations before finally settling into its modern spelling. The word’s Old English ancestors are related to Old High German words heriōn (“to devastate or plunder”) and heri (“host, army”).