worry

worry vb Worry, annoy, harass, harry, plague, pester, tease, tantalize can all mean to torment so as to destroy one's peace of mind or to disturb one acutely.
Worry stresses incessant attacking or goading and an intention or sometimes an effect of driving the victim to desperation or defeat
{

pursue a policy of worrying the enemy

}
{

worry him out till he gives his consent— Swift

}
{

brother should not war with brother, and worry and devour each other— Cowper

}
Annoy (see also ANNOY 1)
implies continued molesting, interfering with, intruding on, or bedeviling until the victim is angry or upset
{

wilt thou then serve the Philistines with that gift which was expressly given thee to annoy them?— Milton

}
{

clouds of flies . . . annoyed our horses— Borrow

}
{

my movements are all along a regular beat, which enables me to avoid things that bore or annoy me—Edmund Wilson

}
Harass usually implies persecution, especially continued petty persecutions, or burdensome demands or exactions that drive one to distraction or exhaust one's nervous or mental power
{

it is good for boys and girls to know that their father can be harassed by worries and their mother worn out by a multiplicity of details— Russell

}
{

securing air and naval bases from which he could harass and blockade the British Isles— Shirer

}
Harry, though often used interchangeably with harass, more vividly suggests maltreatment and oppression
{

Button and Miss Wace had been harried and chivied . . . the latter getting visibly flustered, for tears came into her eyes— Sackville-West

}
{

how on earth can you rack and harry and post a man for his losings, when you ... live in the same station with him?— Kipling

}
Plague basically implies an affliction or infliction comparable to that of a devastating epidemic disease and even with greatly weakened implications tends to suggest a tormentor and an agonized or suffering victim
{

the gods are just, and of our pleasant vices make instruments to plague us— Shak.

}
{

the kind of unhappy phrase that could plague a candidate right down to the wire— Michener

}
{

misfortune plagued the plotters at every turn— Shirer

}
Pester implies the power to annoy past endurance (as by numbers or by repetition of attacks suggestive of the discomforts of an infestation of vermin) (pester the authorities with complaints)
{

Adrian . . . would accept him entirely as he seemed, and not pester him ... by trying to unlock his heart— Meredith

}
Tease may imply repeated attempts to break down resistance by successive appeals or importunities
{

the children were teasing to be taken to the circus

}
{

I have not been to the Rooms this age . . . except . . . last night with the Hodges's . . . they teased me into it— Austen

}
or it may imply an attempt to provoke or upset by raillery or tormenting
{

gets me mad when my analyst friends ask me some teasing question .... Implying they know a hell of a lot more about me than I do— Wouk

}
{

not soon provoked, however stung and teased, and, if perhaps made angry, soon appeased— Co wper

}
Tantalize stresses the repeated awakening of expectation and then its frustration
{

because they are so fabulous and beautiful, they create an atmosphere of suspense ... something tantalizing, breathtaking— Dahl

}
{

merciful love that tantalizes not, one-thoughted, never-wandering, guileless love— Keats

}
Analogous words: disquiet, disturb, *discompose, perturb, agitate, upset: torment, try, torture (see AFFLICT): oppress, persecute, *wrong, aggrieve
Contrasted words: *comfort, solace, console
worry n anxiety, concern, *care, solicitude
Analogous words: *apprehension, foreboding, misgiving, presentiment: anguish, woe, heartache (see SORROW): *uncertainty, doubt, mistrust
Contrasted words: *equanimity, composure, sangfroid: *certainty, assurance, certitude

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Worry — Wor ry, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Worried}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Worrying}.] [OE. worowen, wirien, to strangle, AS. wyrgan in [=a]wyrgan; akin to D. worgen, wurgen, to strangle, OHG. wurgen, G. w[ u]rgen, Lith. verszti, and perhaps to E. wring.] [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Worry — Wor ry, n.; pl. {Worries}. A state of undue solicitude; a state of disturbance from care and anxiety; vexation; anxiety; fret; as, to be in a worry. The whir and worry of spindle and of loom. Sir T. Browne. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • worry — ► VERB (worries, worried) 1) feel or cause to feel troubled over actual or potential difficulties. 2) annoy or disturb. 3) (of a dog or other carnivorous animal) tear at or pull about with the teeth. 4) (of a dog) chase and attack (livestock,… …   English terms dictionary

  • worry — [wʉr′ē] vt. worried, worrying [ME wirwen < OE wyrgan, to strangle, injure, akin to Ger würgen, to strangle < IE * werĝh , to twist, choke < base * wer , to twist > WORM] 1. a) to harass or treat roughly with or as with continual… …   English World dictionary

  • worry — [n] anxiety, trouble anguish, annoyance, apprehension, bad news*, care, concern, disquiet, distress, disturbance, doubt, fear, headache*, heartache*, irritation, misery, misgiving, nag*, pain*, perplexity, pest, plague, presentiment, problem,… …   New thesaurus

  • Worry — Wor ry, v. i. To feel or express undue care and anxiety; to manifest disquietude or pain; to be fretful; to chafe; as, the child worries; the horse worries. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • worry — I noun affliction, annoyance, anxiety, apprehension, apprehensiveness, care, concern, consternation, difficulty, discomfort, discomposure, dismay, disquiet, distress, distress one s self, dread, fear, tearfulness, grief, malaise, mental agitation …   Law dictionary

  • worry — wor|ry1 W2S1 [ˈwʌri US ˈwə:ri] v past tense and past participle worried present participle worrying third person singular worries ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(be anxious)¦ 2 don t worry 3¦(make somebody anxious)¦ 4 not to worry 5 nothing to worry about …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • worry — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun ADJECTIVE ▪ big, considerable, great, main, major, serious ▪ Paying the mortgage is a big worry for many people. ▪ Her mothe …   Collocations dictionary

  • worry — 1 verb 1 BE ANXIOUS (I) to be anxious or unhappy about something so that you think about it a lot (+ about): You ve really got no need to worry about your weight. | worry that: He s worried that he might lose his job. (+ over): Dad worries over… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.