persecute

[ pur-si-kyoot ]
/ ˈpɜr sɪˌkyut /

verb (used with object), per·se·cut·ed, per·se·cut·ing.

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.

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Origin of persecute

First recorded in 1400–50; Late Middle English; back formation from persecutour “persecutor,” ultimately from Late Latin persecūtor originally “prosecutor,” equivalent to persecū-, variant stem of persequī “to prosecute, pursue closely” + -tor; see origin at per-, sequence, -tor

OTHER WORDS FROM persecute

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH persecute

persecute , prosecute
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for persecute

British Dictionary definitions for persecute

persecute
/ (ˈpɜːsɪˌkjuːt) /

verb (tr)

to oppress, harass, or maltreat, esp because of race, religion, etc
to bother persistently

Derived forms of persecute

persecutive, adjectivepersecutor, noun

Word Origin for persecute

C15: from Old French persecuter, back formation from persecuteur, from Late Latin persecūtor pursuer, from persequī to take vengeance upon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012