[ pur-si-kyoo-shuhn ]
See synonyms for persecution on
  1. the act of persecuting.

  2. the state of being persecuted.

  1. a program or campaign to exterminate, drive away, or subjugate people based on their membership in a religious, ethnic, social, or racial group: the persecutions of Christians by the Romans.

Origin of persecution

1300–50; Middle English persecucio(u)n<Late Latin persecūtiōn- (stem of persecūtiō), Latin: prosecution, equivalent to persecūt(us) past participle of persequī (see persecute) + -iōn--ion

Other words from persecution

  • per·se·cu·tion·al, adjective
  • non·per·se·cu·tion, noun

Words Nearby persecution Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use persecution in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for persecution


/ (ˌpɜːsɪˈkjuːʃən) /

  1. the act of persecuting or the state of being persecuted

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