Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near persecute

Cite this Entry

“Persecute.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/persecute. Accessed 29 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on persecute

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