Definition of persecution in US English:



  • 1Hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.

    ‘her family fled religious persecution’
    • ‘No refugee would be able to flee from their country of persecution without first joining the mythical queue to apply for a protection visa.’
    • ‘He claims to fear persecution by reason of his involvement with student politics in Bangladesh during the 1990s.’
    • ‘Violence, war, poverty, unemployment, crime or persecution drive many others to escape.’
    • ‘Most of the persecution in Iraq has been at local level.’
    • ‘Designation does not mean that the country is considered to be universally safe or free from persecution.’
    • ‘The basis for the modern State of Israel is the persecution of the Jewish people, which is undeniable.’
    • ‘The Emperor Marcus Aurelius died in 181, and the Church was little troubled by persecution for the following twenty years.’
    • ‘Think about someone convicted by a kangaroo court with faceless judges moving to the UK to escape further persecution.’
    • ‘They came mostly from areas of the Russian empire where religious persecution was common.’
    • ‘In the late 1990s, however, the Hazaras faced extreme persecution under the Taliban.’
    • ‘The indigenous Christian community is only two million strong and faces persecution from Islamic militants.’
    • ‘The Appellant maintains that he fears persecution by the state for political or imputed political reasons.’
    • ‘In the sixteenth chapter, Gibbon examinees the persecution of Christians by several Roman emperors.’
    • ‘He was by no means the only man of letters of his time who had to submit to something like persecution.’
    • ‘Under the 1996 laws, asylum seekers fleeing persecution are now held behind bars.’
    • ‘The Israeli leadership does not need justification for further persecution.’
    • ‘Later, during the time of the Crusades, messianic expectation increased as Jews faced persecution and death.’
    • ‘This, then, was the occasion of the first persecution of Christians under the Roman Empire.’
    • ‘Coupled with the plague, the persecution of the Jews nearly wiped out entire communities.’
    • ‘A general persecution of the democratic leaders took place.’
    oppression, victimization, maltreatment, ill treatment, mistreatment, abuse, ill usage, discrimination, tyranny, tyrannization, punishment, torment, torture
    harassment, hounding, harrying, badgering, teasing, bullying, molestation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Persistent annoyance or harassment.
      ‘his persecution at the hands of other students’
      • ‘The stigma arising from their illegality and the fear of persecution prevented (and still prevents) the collectors from publishing their "ill-gotten" information.’
      • ‘These patients may believe that they, or a member of the family or someone close to them, are the focus of this persecution.’
      • ‘While posing as victims of persecution, the anti-MMR campaigners have proved very effective in intimidating their opponents.’
      • ‘It would be outrageous and a threat to all unions and social movements if more money is spent on continuing this legal persecution.’
      • ‘Long grassers drinking and partying habits are used as justification for this persecution.’
      • ‘The rain is an obvious metaphor for oppression and relentless torment, for Davidson himself and his persecution of others.’
      • ‘It's the one place in all the world where they can smoke pot in public without fear of persecution.’
      • ‘The Tribunal is not satisfied that the Applicant has suffered persecution in the past.’
      • ‘This type of persecution can reach global proportions through the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights agreement (TRIPs) enforced by the World Trade Organization (WTO).’
      • ‘Your Honour, the persecution that was alleged here was the gaoling.’
      • ‘It would also mean that a hell of a lot of MS sufferers would not have to live in fear of persecution for trying to allieviate suffering.’
      • ‘These things are often much clearer in hindsight and in large hindsight as to what the occasion for persecution was.’
      • ‘The right-wing propaganda outfit Accuracy in Media hosted his press conferences and published statements denouncing the alleged FBI "persecution."’
      • ‘In the face of this persecution, Morgan takes an interest in Nick's girlfriend Frankie.’
      • ‘Twelve patients reported being chased by a gang; another ten complained of persecution of one kind or another.’
      • ‘They are complaining that is persecution.’
      • ‘There is no evidence before me to establish persecution in the past or the likelihood of threat of persecution in the future.’
      • ‘The finding of the tribunal that this did not amount to persecution was upheld.’
      • ‘However, that is not the reason that this appellant fears persecution.’