Definition of persecute in English:

persecute

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Subject (someone) to hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of their race or political or religious beliefs:

    ‘his followers were persecuted by the authorities’
    • ‘He believes himself unjustly persecuted and discriminated against.’
    • ‘The Huguenots were French Protestants who had been persecuted for their faith.’
    • ‘He was martyred after refusing to persecute Christians and became a patron saint of soldiers.’
    • ‘The cultists feel that they are being persecuted unfairly.’
    • ‘Morality demands that the will of the majority should not prevail where a minority is persecuted purely because of religion or race.’
    • ‘When persecuted by the government, they have fled to the central highlands from the north.’
    • ‘We see a dictator using force to repress and persecute his opponents.’
    • ‘Both of them were persecuted relentlessly for their beliefs.’
    • ‘Asylum will be given to people who are persecuted for their beliefs.’
    • ‘During Bulgaria's communist period, his followers were persecuted by the authorities.’
    • ‘The bond was strengthened because individuals persecuted by the authorities could seek succor and solace from the Church.’
    • ‘Many have been harassed or persecuted in their own countries for political or religious reasons.’
    • ‘Besides, almost all of them are already old and they're the last people persecuted for political reasons.’
    • ‘The Muslim population claims it was systematically persecuted for its religion by the Greek Orthodox majority.’
    • ‘She claims she has been persecuted because of her religious beliefs.’
    • ‘Are they being persecuted on the grounds of race?’
    • ‘One of these is that millions of people around the world die or are severely persecuted for their beliefs.’
    • ‘For hundreds of years, the Jews have been persecuted in many countries.’
    • ‘The Jews - among other minorities - were persecuted by the Nazis.’
    • ‘We should also be targeting the source of the problem: repressive governments which persecute their own citizens.’
    oppress, abuse, victimize, ill-treat, mistreat, maltreat, discriminate against, punish, inflict pain on, inflict suffering on, tyrannize, afflict, torment, torture, martyr
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    1. 1.1 Harass or annoy (someone) persistently:
      ‘Hilda was persecuted by some of the other girls’
      • ‘I hope that you and the people will reserve judgment on me until the newspaper is done persecuting me.’
      • ‘I have the greatest admiration for the man and there is no question of persecuting him.’
      • ‘The moral is: persecuting farmers is not the way to have lower food prices, nor is it the way to make farm income lower than other forms of income.’
      • ‘For three years after DNA evidence proved his innocence, the authorities persisted in persecuting him.’
      • ‘Lone parents, disabled people and the long term unemployed are harried and persecuted.’
      • ‘Totalitarian governments love these kind of laws that make everyone a potential criminal, so that authorities can legally justify persecuting anyone they don't like.’
      • ‘Last week we witnessed two fine examples of the extent to which anti-smoking zealots will go in order to hound and persecute smokers.’
      • ‘In July, he confronted her about the investigation, accusing her of persecuting him, and demanding to know how she had any right to continue the investigation.’
      • ‘Local authorities should concentrate on providing services to the public not persecuting honest shopkeepers.’
      • ‘We are not in the business of persecuting our members because the state considers someone guilty.’
      • ‘Isn't it disgraceful the way they're persecuting the poor guy?’
      • ‘They are doing the opposite by picking on them and by persecuting people more than they have for years.’
      • ‘The police are too busy persecuting and harassing motorists.’
      • ‘They were looked down upon but generally not actively persecuted.’
      • ‘The most common symptom of paranoia is the belief that someone or something is persecuting you.’
      • ‘We are not out for prosecution or persecuting people, we just want people to see reason we want them to adhere to the speed limit.’
      • ‘The persecuted, bullied and misunderstood see a kindred spirit.’
      • ‘It's just a pathetic mind game played by lefty town planners who get their kicks by persecuting motorists, because of course, we're all evil.’
      • ‘Persecuting the poor guy isn't going to make him feel very good either.’
      harass, hound, plague, badger, harry, bait, intimidate, pick on, trouble, molest, tease, pester, bother, worry, annoy, bedevil, bully, victimize, terrorize
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French persecuter, from Latin persecut- followed with hostility, from the verb persequi, from per- through, utterly + sequi follow, pursue.

Pronunciation:

persecute

/ˈpəːsɪkjuːt/