Dictionary

persecute

verb per·se·cute \ˈpər-si-ˌkyüt\

: to treat (someone) cruelly or unfairly especially because of race or religious or political beliefs

: to constantly annoy or bother (someone)

per·se·cut·edper·se·cut·ing

Full Definition of PERSECUTE

transitive verb
1
:  to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically :  to cause to suffer because of belief
2
:  to annoy with persistent or urgent approaches (as attacks, pleas, or importunities) :  pester
per·se·cu·tee \ˌpər-si-ˌkyü-ˈtē\ noun
per·se·cu·tive \ˈpər-si-ˌkyü-tiv\ adjective
per·se·cu·tor \-ˌkyü-tər\ noun
per·se·cu·to·ry \-kyü-ˌtr-ē, -ˌkyü-tə-rē\ adjective

Examples of PERSECUTE

  1. The country's leaders relentlessly persecuted those who fought against the regime.
  2. They were persecuted for their beliefs.

Origin of PERSECUTE

Middle English, from Middle French persecuter, back-formation from persecuteur persecutor, from Late Latin persecutor, from persequi to persecute, from Latin, to pursue, from per- through + sequi to follow — more at sue
First Known Use: 15th century

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