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

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 Spacey came out as gay in a public response to the accusations, igniting outrage that the actor would draw connections between homosexuality and pedophilia — a false argument that was historically used to support persecution of the gay community. Anna Millard, refinery29.com, "Kevin Spacey Accused Of Sexual Assault By 3 More Men," 4 July 2018 Many of the families caught on the southwestern border are escaping violence and persecution, only to be imprisoned and charged as criminals for illegally entering the United States. Gardiner Harris, New York Times, "In Human Trafficking Report, State Dept. Warns Against Separating Children From Parents," 28 June 2018 Asylum seekers come to the United States to escape issues such as war, persecution, or domestic violence. Zipporah Osei, BostonGlobe.com, "Refugees bridge gaps with the help of local volunteers," 26 Apr. 2018 In an effort to escape Nazi persecution, Anne Frank and her family famously spent more than two years hiding in a secret annex behind her father’s business. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Anne Frank’s Family Tried to Escape to the United States, New Research Shows," 6 July 2018 For instance, many people come to the United States seeking asylum — a legal means of entering the country, often to escape persecution in their homelands. Jeff Gammage, Philly.com, "In Philly, Sen. Casey demands Trump administration produce plan to reunite separated families," 25 June 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

4 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for persecution

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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