Definition of persecute verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    persecute

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈpɜːsɪkjuːt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɜːrsɪkjuːt//
     
    [often passive]Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they persecute
    BrE BrE//ˈpɜːsɪkjuːt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɜːrsɪkjuːt//
     
    he / she / it persecutes
    BrE BrE//ˈpɜːsɪkjuːts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɜːrsɪkjuːts//
     
    past simple persecuted
    BrE BrE//ˈpɜːsɪkjuːtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɜːrsɪkjuːtɪd//
     
    past participle persecuted
    BrE BrE//ˈpɜːsɪkjuːtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɜːrsɪkjuːtɪd//
     
    -ing form persecuting
    BrE BrE//ˈpɜːsɪkjuːtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɜːrsɪkjuːtɪŋ//
     
    Social justice
     
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  1. 1persecute somebody (for something) to treat somebody 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 Wordfinderbias, discriminate, equal, feminism, homophobia, human right, marginalize, persecute, race, society See related entries: Social justice
  2. 2persecute somebody to deliberately annoy somebody all the time and make their life unpleasant synonym harass Why are the media persecuting him like this?
  3. Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French persecuter, from Latin persecut- ‘followed with hostility’, from the verb persequi, from per- ‘through, utterly’ + sequi ‘follow, pursue’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: persecute