prosecution

noun
pros·​e·​cu·​tion | \ ˌprä-si-ˈkyü-shən How to pronounce prosecution (audio) \

Definition of prosecution

1 : the act or process of prosecuting specifically : the institution and continuance of a criminal suit involving the process of pursuing formal charges against an offender to final judgment
2 : the party by whom criminal proceedings are instituted or conducted
3 obsolete : pursuit

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of prosecution in a Sentence

There has been an increase in prosecutions for gun-related crimes. The defendant is awaiting prosecution. The prosecution called their first witness. The prosecution rests, Your Honor. The defense told the jury that the prosecution had not proved its case.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

At Joyner’s first trial, the prosecution asked Elkhart Circuit Judge Gene Duffin to exclude evidence pointing to Bowen. Christian Sheckler, ProPublica, "The Questionable Conviction, and Re-Conviction, of Ricky Joyner," 20 July 2019 The prosecution called 16 witnesses before resting Wednesday. Evan Macdonald, cleveland.com, "Jury deliberating in trial for Cleveland police supervisor charged in chase from ’137 shots’ case," 19 July 2019 Once the investigation is complete, the prosecution will decide whether to formally charge the rapper. Fortune, "Rapper A$AP Rocky Will Remain in Swedish Detention for Another Week," 19 July 2019 Reznick owes more than $124,000 in restitution and more than $4,500 in prosecution costs. Gina Kaufman, Detroit Free Press, "Former village police chief sentenced to prison in firearms scheme," 18 July 2019 Public defenders Morgen Oswood and Angela Brant questioned Serrano and the detective’s credibility, saying the prosecution was relying on hearsay to show that Gallegos was even present at the shooting and that a robbery occurred. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Teen accused of robbing, killing Cherokee Trail High School rugby player in illegal vape sale to face trial," 17 July 2019 Breaking the act carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison, though prosecutions are rare. Jill Lawless, BostonGlobe.com, "Leaked UK memo says Trump axed Iran deal to spite Obama," 14 July 2019 Such prosecutions were a key element of the family-separation policy that Trump imposed and had to abandon quickly last year. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 11 July 2019 Such prosecutions are not everyday events, but state and federal agencies sometimes use them to condemn serious financial or regulatory wrongdoing. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "Criminal charges against PG&E could send message in Northern California wildfires," 10 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of prosecution

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about prosecution

Statistics for prosecution

Last Updated

23 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prosecution

The first known use of prosecution was in 1545

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for prosecution

prosecution

noun

English Language Learners Definition of prosecution

: the act or process of holding a trial against a person who is accused of a crime to see if that person is guilty
: the side of a legal case which argues that a person who is accused of a crime is guilty : the lawyer or lawyers who prosecute someone in a court case
formal : the act of doing or continuing to do something

prosecution

noun
pros·​e·​cu·​tion | \ ˌprä-si-ˈkyü-shən How to pronounce prosecution (audio) \

Kids Definition of prosecution

1 : the act of carrying on a legal action against a person accused of a crime in court
2 : the lawyers in a criminal case trying to prove that the accused person is guilty The prosecution will try to prove it was murder.

prosecution

noun
pros·​e·​cu·​tion | \ ˌprä-si-ˈkyü-shən How to pronounce prosecution (audio) \

Legal Definition of prosecution

1 : the act or process of prosecuting especially : the institution and carrying on of a criminal action involving the process of seeking formal charges against a person and pursuing those charges to final judgment
2 : the party by whom criminal proceedings are instituted or conducted — compare defense sense 3, plaintiff

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on prosecution

What made you want to look up prosecution? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!