- to pursue with harassing or oppressive treatment, especially because of religious or political beliefs, ethnic or racial origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
- to annoy or trouble persistently.
Origin of persecute
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for persecuted
Now the church consists of people who only talk about how ‘we were persecuted’—even though they never were.Remembering the Russian Priest Who Fought the Orthodox Church
December 28, 2014
The basic premise that Christians should expect to suffer and be persecuted is not an invention of Rev. Sproul.All Aboard the USS Persecution Complex
Candida Moss, Joel Baden
October 19, 2014
Madison knew directly how colonial-era Anglicans had persecuted Baptists.In Texas Textbooks, Moses Is a Founding Father
September 22, 2014
“Haters gonna hate” makes the person who says it into an automatic martyr, persecuted, misunderstood, maligned.Why We Should Hate 'Haters Gonna Hate'
August 25, 2014
During the visit, it was hard to get a sense of why the Yezidis are persecuted.Fighting Back With Faith: Inside the Yezidis’ Iraqi Temple
August 21, 2014
The blessed Savior was persecuted in his very infancy and had to be hid by his parents.Biography of a Slave
You must always be a true knight for the persecuted and unprotected.Rico and Wiseli
If they have hated me they will hate you also; if they have persecuted me they will persecute you.'The Works of Whittier, Volume V (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
Is it true that you are persecuted by this knave's addresses?'Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
The guard treated him unfairly, lied about him to the warden, lost his credits, persecuted him.White Fang
- to oppress, harass, or maltreat, esp because of race, religion, etc
- to bother persistently
Word Origin and History for persecuted
mid-15c., "to oppress for the holding of a belief or opinion," from Middle French persécuter "pursue, torment, open legal action" (14c.), from Latin persecutus, past participle of persequi "to pursue" (see persecution). Related: Persecuted; persecuting.