• synonyms


[pros-i-kyoo-shuh n]
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  1. Law.
    1. the institution and carrying on of legal proceedings against a person.
    2. the body of officials by whom such proceedings are instituted and carried on.
  2. the following up of something undertaken or begun, usually to its completion.
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Origin of prosecution

1555–65; < Late Latin prōsecūtiōn- (stem of prōsecūtiō) a following up. See prosecute, -ion
Related formsnon·pros·e·cu·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

pursuit, government, prosecutor, undertaking, accomplishment, performance, execution, achievement, pursuance, state, DA

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British Dictionary definitions for prosecution


  1. the act of prosecuting or the state of being prosecuted
    1. the institution and conduct of legal proceedings against a person
    2. the proceedings brought in the name of the Crown to put an accused on trial
  2. the lawyers acting for the Crown to put the case against a personCompare defence (def. 6)
  3. the following up or carrying on of something begun, esp with a view to its accomplishment or completion
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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 prosecution


1560s, "action of pursuing," from Middle French prosecution (late 13c.) and directly from Late Latin prosecutionem (nominative prosecutio) "a following," noun of action from past participle stem of prosequi (see prosecute). Meaning "legal action" is from 1630s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper