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.

Nearby words

  1. pers.,
  2. persalt,
  3. perse,
  4. perse, st.-john,
  5. persea,
  6. persecution,
  7. persecution complex,
  8. persecutor,
  9. persecutory,
  10. perseid

Origin of persecute

1400–50; late Middle English; back formation from persecutour persecutor ≪ Late Latin persecūtor orig. prosecutor, equivalent to persecū-, variant stem of persequī to prosecute, pursue closely (see per-, sequence) + -tor -tor

Related forms
Can be confusedpersecute prosecute

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for persecuted


British Dictionary definitions for persecuted

persecute

/ (ˈpɜːsɪˌkjuːt) /

verb (tr)

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

Word Origin and History for persecuted

persecute

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper