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Worry vs Annoy vs Harass vs Harry vs Plague vs Pester vs Tease vs Tantalize

Worryannoyharassharryplaguepesterteasetantalize 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.

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

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.

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

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.

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).

Tease may imply repeated attempts to break down resistance by successive appeals or importunities or it may imply an attempt to provoke or upset by raillery or tormenting.

Tantalize stresses the repeated awakening of expectation and then its frustration.