Persecute Per"se*cute, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Persecuted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Persecuting}.] [F. pers['e]cueter, L. persequi, persecutus, to pursue, prosecute; per + sequi to follow, pursue. See {Per-}, and {Second}.] 1. To pursue in a manner to injure, grieve, or afflict; to beset with cruelty or malignity; to harass; especially, to afflict, harass, punish, or put to death, for adherence to a particular religious creed or mode of worship. [1913 Webster]

Do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. --Matt. v. 44. [1913 Webster]

2. To harass with importunity; to pursue with persistent solicitations; to annoy. --Johnson. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To oppress; harass; distress; worry; annoy. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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