harry (v.) O.E. hergian "make war, lay waste, ravage, plunder," the word used in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" for what the Vikings did to England, from P.Gmc. verb *harohan (Cf. O.Fris. urheria "lay waste, ravage, plunder," O.N. herja "to make a raid, to plunder," O.S., O.H.G. herion, Ger. verheeren "to destroy, lay waste, devastate"), from *harjaz "an armed force" (Cf. O.E. here, O.N. herr "crowd, great number; army, troop," O.S., O.Fris. heri, Du. heir, O.H.G. har, Ger. Heer "host, army," Goth. harjis), from PIE root *koro- "war" (Cf. Lith. karas "war, quarrel," karias "host, army;" O.C.S. kara "strife;" M.Ir. cuire "troop;" O.Pers. kara "host, people, army;" Gk. koiranos "ruler, leader, commander"). Weakened sense of "worry, goad, harass" is from c.1400. Related: Harried; harrying.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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