Synonyms & Antonyms of persecute

2 to disturb the peace of mind of (someone) especially by repeated disagreeable acts
  • she likes to persecute her sister with pointless, annoying questions at very inopportune times

Synonyms for persecute

Words Related to persecute

Phrases Synonymous with persecute

Near Antonyms for persecute

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About persecute

How does the verb persecute differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of persecute are aggrieve, oppress, and wrong. While all these words mean "to injure unjustly or outrageously," persecute implies a relentless and unremitting subjection to annoyance or suffering.

a child persecuted by constant criticism

When is aggrieve a more appropriate choice than persecute?

Although the words aggrieve and persecute have much in common, aggrieve implies suffering caused by an infringement or denial of rights.

a legal aid society representing aggrieved minority groups

When might oppress be a better fit than persecute?

The meanings of oppress and persecute largely overlap; however, oppress suggests inhumane imposing of burdens one cannot endure or exacting more than one can perform.

a people oppressed by a warmongering tyrant

When could wrong be used to replace persecute?

The synonyms wrong and persecute are sometimes interchangeable, but wrong implies inflicting injury either unmerited or out of proportion to what one deserves.

a penal system that had wronged him

Learn More About persecute

Time Traveler for persecute

Time Traveler

The first known use of persecute was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near persecute




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Persecute.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on persecute

Nglish: Translation of persecute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of persecute for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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