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

     

    prosecute

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈprɒsɪkjuːt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈprɑːsɪkjuːt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they prosecute
    BrE BrE//ˈprɒsɪkjuːt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈprɑːsɪkjuːt//
     
    he / she / it prosecutes
    BrE BrE//ˈprɒsɪkjuːts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈprɑːsɪkjuːts//
     
    past simple prosecuted
    BrE BrE//ˈprɒsɪkjuːtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈprɑːsɪkjuːtɪd//
     
    past participle prosecuted
    BrE BrE//ˈprɒsɪkjuːtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈprɑːsɪkjuːtɪd//
     
    -ing form prosecuting
    BrE BrE//ˈprɒsɪkjuːtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈprɑːsɪkjuːtɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] prosecute (somebody/something) (for something/doing something) to officially charge somebody with a crime in court The company was prosecuted for breaching the Health and Safety Act. Trespassers will be prosecuted (= a notice telling people to keep out of a particular area). The police decided not to prosecute. Wordfinderabide by something, court, crime, justice, law, legal, police, prosecute, punish, trial
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] prosecute (somebody) to be a lawyer in a court case for a person or an organization that is charging somebody with a crime the prosecuting counsel/lawyer/attorney James Spencer, prosecuting, claimed that the witness was lying.
  3. 3[transitive] prosecute something (formal) to continue taking part in or doing something They had overwhelming public support to prosecute the war.
  4. Word Origin late Middle English (in sense (3)): from Latin prosecut- ‘pursued, accompanied’, from the verb prosequi, from pro- ‘onward’ + sequi ‘follow’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: prosecute