Simple Definition of persecute
: to treat (someone) cruelly or unfairly especially because of race or religious or political beliefs
: to constantly annoy or bother (someone)
Full Definition of persecute
Examples of persecute in a sentence
The country's leaders relentlessly persecuted those who fought against the regime.
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
Synonym Discussion of persecute
PERSECUTE Defined for Kids
Definition of persecute for Students
: to treat continually in a cruel and harmful way
Seen and Heard
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