What does persecute mean?

Definitions for persecute
ˈpɜr sɪˌkyutper·se·cute

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word persecute.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. persecute, oppressverb

    cause to suffer

    "Jews were persecuted in the former Soviet Union"


  1. persecuteverb

    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 one's race, sexual identity, adherence to a particular religious creed, or mode of worship.

    "Do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Matt. 5:44.

  2. persecuteverb

    To harass with importunity; to pursue with persistent solicitations; to annoy.

  3. Etymology: From persécuter, from persequor, from (English sequel). Compare prosecute.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To PERSECUTEverb

    Etymology: persecuter, Fr. persecutus, Lat.

    I persecuted this way unto the death. Acts xxii. 4.

    They might have fallen down, being persecuted of vengeance, and scattered abroad. Wisdom xi. 20.

    For what offence the queen of heav’n began
    To persecute so brave, so just a man! Dryden.


  1. persecute

    Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another individual or group. The most common forms are religious persecution, racism, and political persecution, though there is naturally some overlap between these terms. The inflicting of suffering, harassment, imprisonment, internment, fear or pain are all factors that may establish persecution, but not all suffering will necessarily establish persecution. The threshold of severity has been a source of much debate.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Persecuteverb

    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

  2. Persecuteverb

    to harass with importunity; to pursue with persistent solicitations; to annoy

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Persecute

    pėr′se-kūt, v.t. to pursue so as to injure or annoy: to follow after persistently: to annoy or punish, esp. for religious or political opinions.—ns. Persecū′tion, act or practice of persecuting: state of being persecuted: a time of general oppression on account of religious opinions; Per′secūtor:—fem. Per′secūtrix. [Fr.,—L. persequi, persecutusper, thoroughly, sequi, to follow.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of persecute in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of persecute in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of persecute in a Sentence

  1. Irving Kristol:

    The danger facing American Jews today is not that Christians want to persecute them but that Christians want to marry them.

  2. Sigmund Freud:

    It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime, and cruelty too.

  3. Edmund Burke:

    In doing good, we are generally cold, and languid, and sluggish; and of all things afraid of being too much in the right. But the works of malice and injustice are quite in another style. They are finished with a bold, masterly hand; touched as they are with the spirit of those vehement passions that call forth all our energies, whenever we oppress and persecute.

  4. Prime Minister David Cameron:

    I want British Muslims to know we will back them to stand against those who spread hate and to counter the narrative which says Muslims do not feel British, i want police to take more action against those who persecute others simply because of their religion.

  5. Ralph Waldo Emerson:

    Universities are of course hostile to geniuses, which, seeing and using ways of their own, discredit the routine as churches and monasteries persecute youthful saints.

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Translations for persecute

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"persecute." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 21 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/persecute>.

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    the quality of being impenetrable (by people or light or missiles etc.)
    • A. flunkey
    • B. callathump
    • C. imperviousness
    • D. impounding

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