persecution

noun
per·​se·​cu·​tion | \ˌpər-si-ˈkyü-shən \

Definition of persecution 

1 : the act or practice of persecuting especially those who differ in origin, religion, or social outlook

2 : the condition of being persecuted, harassed, or annoyed

Examples of persecution in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

If Irving Berlin’s family had sought asylum in the United States today, they would likely have been deported — deemed criminals just for landing on American soil in their flight from persecution. New York Times, "‘God Bless America’: 100 Years of an Immigrant’s Anthem," 2 July 2018 Fluharty also questions why a mother who was deemed to have a credible fear of persecution and no violent criminal history would be separated from her children by immigration officials for allegedly lying about her citizenship status in 1999. Rosa Flores, CNN, "Mom and 4 children forced to separate after seeking asylum in US," 5 June 2018 Although Iraqi forces finally routed the Islamic State group last year, minorities remain vulnerable to persecution and discrimination. Dan Sewell, Detroit Free Press, "Block Iraqi deportations, ACLU attorneys urge federal appeals court," 25 Apr. 2018 Advocates for immigrants said such changes to existing laws would deny those fleeing persecution and violence in their home countries due-process protections. Jason Buch, San Antonio Express-News, "DHS officials in San Antonio call for tighter asylum laws," 1 Feb. 2018 The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that 65 million people globally have been displaced by conflicts, persecution and human rights violations. Otis R. Taylor Jr., San Francisco Chronicle, "Cynics in America can look to resettled refugees for inspiration," 10 Jan. 2018 The caravans have been a fairly common tactic for years among advocacy groups to bring attention to Central American citizens seeking asylum in the U.S. to escape political persecution or criminal threats from gangs. Time, "A 'Caravan' of Asylum Seekers That Infuriated President Trump Has Arrived at the U.S.-Mexico Border," 26 Apr. 2018 The caravans have been a fairly common tactic for years among advocacy groups to bring attention to Central American citizens seeking asylum in the U.S. to escape political persecution or criminal threats from gangs. CBS News, ""Caravan" of migrants reaches U.S. border," 26 Apr. 2018 The caravans have been a fairly common tactic for years among advocacy groups to bring attention to Central American citizens seeking asylum in the U.S. to escape political persecution or criminal threats from gangs. Elliot Spagat, chicagotribune.com, "Central American asylum seeking caravan reaches U.S. border," 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'persecution.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of persecution

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

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The first known use of persecution was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for persecution

persecution

noun
per·​se·​cu·​tion | \ˌpər-si-ˈkyü-shən \

Kids Definition of persecution

1 : the act of continually treating in a cruel and harmful way

2 : the state of being continually treated in a cruel and harmful way

persecution

noun
per·​se·​cu·​tion

Legal Definition of persecution 

: punishment or harassment usually of a severe nature on the basis of race, religion, or political opinion in one's country of origin claimed persecution and sought asylum

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