Definition of prosecution in English:



  • 1The institution and conducting of legal proceedings against someone in respect of a criminal charge.

    ‘the organizers are facing prosecution for noise nuisance’
    [count noun] ‘they lacked the funds to embark on private prosecutions’
    • ‘Much of the ground might therefore be covered by the law of attempts and by prosecutions for complicity in attempts.’
    • ‘Underpayments will have to be back-paid to employees or employers face prosecution.’
    • ‘Again the driver was offered a chance to go on the course rather than face prosecution.’
    • ‘The threat that hung over those who did not apply was that they might face future prosecution.’
    • ‘Two people are facing possible prosecutions for malicious or criminal damage.’
    • ‘Companies have been warned that they could be liable to prosecution if employees use their property to pirate music.’
    • ‘To respond to mass atrocity with legal prosecutions is to embrace the rule of law.’
    • ‘Such clauses need not prevent the prosecution of meritorious suits.’
    • ‘The four who faced criminal prosecutions are expected to petition the Law Lords to hear their appeals.’
    • ‘It could be used in court at an application for a parenting order or during a prosecution for truancy.’
    • ‘The five traders caught in the first sweep are currently being interviewed with a view to prosecution.’
    • ‘That conduct consisted in the prosecution and settlement of the earlier action.’
    • ‘As they had indicated, the prosecution did not proceed further against her husband.’
    • ‘They should also consider private prosecutions where a conviction is likely and it is in the public interest to prosecute.’
    • ‘He warned that those which continued to serve out of hours could face prosecution and possible closure.’
    • ‘Certainly, he contends, Parliament never intended to impose a filter for criminal prosecutions.’
    • ‘Whether or not the police did so, the prosecution of the accused proceeded on the evidence against them.’
    • ‘Individuals can bring private prosecutions in the criminal courts, but cases are rare.’
    • ‘The prosecution follows a project carried out by the council's trading standards office last August.’
    • ‘Businesses without a new licence in August face prosecution if they continue to trade.’
    indictment, accusation, denunciation, prosecution, trial, charge, summons, citation
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    1. 1.1[treated as singular or plural]The party instituting or conducting legal proceedings against someone in a lawsuit.
      ‘the main witness for the prosecution’
      • ‘The onus is on the prosecution to show cause why bail should be denied because the person lacks mental capacity.’
      • ‘The defendant has the right to call witnesses and to cross-examine any witness called by the prosecution.’
      • ‘Did the prosecutor at trial ever indicate a reason for not calling him as a witness for the prosecution?’
      • ‘Once he had raised this issue the prosecution was obliged to disprove it if they were to secure a conviction.’
      • ‘The prosecution said the teenager was seen carrying objects around and hurling stones during the disturbances.’
      • ‘At trial, the prosecution called a number of remand witnesses to give evidence.’
      • ‘My submission on that would be it is a duty upon the prosecution to ensure the indictment is in proper form.’
      • ‘That is the way in which the prosecution conducted its case and it is the way in which her Honour summed up to the jury.’
      • ‘Whether the prosecution proceed with that retrial is a matter for their judgment.’
      • ‘He later became the chief state witness for the prosecution in the arms trial.’
      • ‘He could be both a victim and a witness for the prosecution at such a trial.’
      • ‘In this court that waiting room is only for the witnesses of the prosecution.’
      • ‘The prosecution, of course, says that this is just a case of the hair breaking in half.’
      • ‘The prosecution alleged that failing to discharge their roles had contributed to the four deaths.’
      • ‘It moves the onus of proof from the defendant to the prosecution, as recommended by public health experts.’
      • ‘They are frequently of great importance both to the prosecution and to the defence in the conduct of the trial.’
      • ‘In that case the court had before it not only the privileged material but the prosecution's response to it.’
      • ‘The prosecution chose this course rather than have her video played to the jury.’
      • ‘It is not purely for the benefit of the prosecution to have the suspect picked out.’
      • ‘Either the prosecution proves that the accused had the requisite intent, or it does not.’
      legal action, lawsuit, suit at law, case, court case, action, cause, legal proceeding, legal process, proceedings, judicial proceedings, litigation, trial, legal contest, legal dispute, bringing to book, bringing of charges, indictment, prosecution
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  • 2The continuation of a course of action with a view to its completion.

    ‘the BBC's prosecution of its commercial ends’
    execution, application, carrying out, carrying through, performance, enactment, administration
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Mid 16th century (in prosecution): from Old French, or from late Latin prosecutio(n-), from prosequi pursue, accompany (see prosecute).