Middle English harien, herien, from Old English hergian (“to pillage, plunder”), from Proto-Germanic *harjōną (compare East Frisian ferheerje, German verheeren (“to harry, devastate”)) Swedish härja (“ravage, harry”)), from Proto-Germanic *harjaz (“army”) (compare Old English here, West Frisian hear, Dutch heer, German Heer), from Proto-Indo-European *kori̯os (compare Middle Irish cuire (“army”), Lithuanian kãrias (“army; war”), Old Church Slavonic кара (kara, “strife”), Ancient Greek κοίρανος (koíranos, “chief, commander”), Old Persian kāra ‘army’).[Cuneiform?]
- (transitive) To bother; to trouble.
- We shall harry the enemy at every turn until his morale breaks and he is at our mercy.
- 2011 October 23, Becky Ashton, “QPR 1 - 0 Chelsea”, BBC Sport:
- Chelsea also struggled to keep possession as QPR harried and chased at every opportunity, giving their opponents no time on the ball.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
- To strip; to lay waste.
- The Northmen came several times and harried the land.
- Washington Irving
- to harry this beautiful region
- J. Burroughs
- A red squirrel had harried the nest of a wood thrush.