Simple Definition of prosecute
law : to hold a trial against a person who is accused of a crime to see if that person is guilty
: to work as a lawyer to try to prove a case against someone accused of a crime
: to continue to do (something) : to proceed with (something)
Full Definition of prosecute
1 : to follow to the end : pursue until finished <prosecute a war>
2 : to engage in : perform
3 a : to bring legal action against for redress or punishment of a crime or violation of law b : to institute legal proceedings with reference to <prosecute a claim>
: to institute and carry on a legal suit or prosecution
Examples of prosecute
The store's owner agreed not to prosecute if the boy returned the stolen goods.
The case is being prosecuted by the assistant district attorney.
She criticized the government for the way it has prosecuted the war.
Origin of prosecute
Middle English, from Latin prosecutus, past participle of prosequi to pursue — more at pursue
First Known Use: 15th century
PROSECUTE Defined for Kids
Definition of prosecute
1 : to carry on a legal action against an accused person to prove his or her guilt
2 : to follow up to the end : keep at <prosecute a war>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up prosecute? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).