American English

Definition of persecute verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    [often passive]Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they persecute
    he / she / it persecutes
    past simple persecuted
    -ing form persecuting
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  1. 1persecute somebody (for something) to treat someone in a cruel and unfair way, especially because of their race, religion, or political beliefs Throughout history, people have been persecuted for their religious beliefs. persecuted minorities
  2. 2persecute somebody to deliberately annoy someone all the time and make their life unpleasant synonym harass Why are the media persecuting him like this?
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noun [uncountable, countable] the victims of religious persecution They fled to America to escape persecution.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: persecute