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’
    • ‘We should also be targeting the source of the problem: repressive governments which persecute their own citizens.’
    • ‘The Huguenots were French Protestants who had been persecuted for their faith.’
    • ‘She claims she has been persecuted because of her religious beliefs.’
    • ‘He was martyred after refusing to persecute Christians and became a patron saint of soldiers.’
    • ‘The cultists feel that they are being persecuted unfairly.’
    • ‘Asylum will be given to people who are persecuted for their beliefs.’
    • ‘For hundreds of years, the Jews have been persecuted in many countries.’
    • ‘When persecuted by the government, they have fled to the central highlands from the north.’
    • ‘He believes himself unjustly persecuted and discriminated against.’
    • ‘The bond was strengthened because individuals persecuted by the authorities could seek succor and solace from the Church.’
    • ‘Morality demands that the will of the majority should not prevail where a minority is persecuted purely because of religion or race.’
    • ‘During Bulgaria's communist period, his followers were persecuted by the authorities.’
    • ‘Many have been harassed or persecuted in their own countries for political or religious reasons.’
    • ‘Both of them were persecuted relentlessly for their beliefs.’
    • ‘The Jews - among other minorities - were persecuted by the Nazis.’
    • ‘Are they being persecuted on the grounds of race?’
    • ‘The Muslim population claims it was systematically persecuted for its religion by the Greek Orthodox majority.’
    • ‘We see a dictator using force to repress and persecute his opponents.’
    • ‘Besides, almost all of them are already old and they're the last people persecuted for political reasons.’
    • ‘One of these is that millions of people around the world die or are severely persecuted for their beliefs.’
    oppress, abuse, victimize, ill-treat, mistreat, maltreat, discriminate against, punish, inflict pain on, inflict suffering on, tyrannize, afflict, torment, torture, martyr
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Harass or annoy (someone) persistently.
      ‘Hilda was persecuted by some of the other girls’
      • ‘They were looked down upon but generally not actively persecuted.’
      • ‘Lone parents, disabled people and the long term unemployed are harried and persecuted.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We are not in the business of persecuting our members because the state considers someone guilty.’
      • ‘For three years after DNA evidence proved his innocence, the authorities persisted in persecuting him.’
      • ‘Local authorities should concentrate on providing services to the public not persecuting honest shopkeepers.’
      • ‘The most common symptom of paranoia is the belief that someone or something is persecuting you.’
      • ‘The police are too busy persecuting and harassing motorists.’
      • ‘Persecuting the poor guy isn't going to make him feel very good either.’
      • ‘The persecuted, bullied and misunderstood see a kindred spirit.’
      • ‘Last week we witnessed two fine examples of the extent to which anti-smoking zealots will go in order to hound and persecute smokers.’
      • ‘They are doing the opposite by picking on them and by persecuting people more than they have for years.’
      • ‘Isn't it disgraceful the way they're persecuting the poor guy?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’

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

/ˈpərsəˌkyo͞ot/