What does prosecute mean?

Definitions for prosecute
ˈprɒs ɪˌkyutpros·e·cute

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. prosecuteverb

    conduct a prosecution in a court of law

  2. prosecuteverb

    bring a criminal action against (in a trial)

    "The State of California prosecuted O.J. Simpson"

  3. prosecute, engage, pursueverb

    carry out or participate in an activity; be involved in

    "She pursued many activities"; "They engaged in a discussion"


  1. prosecuteverb

    To start civil or criminal proceedings against.

  2. prosecuteverb

    To charge, try.

  3. prosecuteverb

    To pursue something to the end.

  4. Etymology: From prosecutus, perfect participle of prosequor. Compare persecute.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To PROSECUTEverb

    Etymology: prosequor, prosecutus, Lat.

    I am belov’d of beauteous Hermia,
    Why should not I then prosecute my right? William Shakespeare.

    I must not omit a father’s timely care,
    To prosecute the means of thy deliverance
    By ransom. John Milton, Agonistes.

    He prosecuted this purpose with strength of argument and close reasoning, without incoherent sallies. John Locke.

    The same reasons, which induced you to entertain this war, will induce you also to prosecute the same. John Hayward.

    All resolute to prosecute their ire,
    Seeking their own and country’s cause to free. Daniel.

    He infested Oxford, which gave them the more reason to prosecute the fortifications. Edward Hyde.

    With louder cries
    She prosecutes her griefs, and thus replies. Dryden.

    It were an infinite labour to prosecute those things, so far as they might be exemplified in religious and civil actions. Richard Hooker, b. iv. s. 1.


  1. prosecute

    A prosecutor is a legal representative of the prosecution in states with either the common law adversarial system or the civil law inquisitorial system. The prosecution is the legal party responsible for presenting the case in a criminal trial against an individual accused of breaking the law. Typically, the prosecutor represents the state or the government in the case brought against the accused person.


  1. prosecute

    To prosecute is to officially conduct legal proceedings against a person or organization accused of a crime, with the aim of proving their guilt in a court of law. It can also refer to the act of continuing a course of action with a view to its completion.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Prosecuteverb

    to follow or pursue with a view to reach, execute, or accomplish; to endeavor to obtain or complete; to carry on; to continue; as, to prosecute a scheme, hope, or claim

  2. Prosecuteverb

    to seek to obtain by legal process; as, to prosecute a right or a claim in a court of law

  3. Prosecuteverb

    to pursue with the intention of punishing; to accuse of some crime or breach of law, or to pursue for redress or punishment, before a legal tribunal; to proceed against judicially; as, to prosecute a man for trespass, or for a riot

  4. Prosecuteverb

    to follow after

  5. Prosecuteverb

    to institute and carry on a legal prosecution; as, to prosecute for public offenses

  6. Etymology: [L. prosecutus, p. p. of prosequi to follow, pursue. See Pursue.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Prosecute

    pros′ē-kūt, v.t. to follow onwards or pursue, in order to reach or accomplish: to continue: to pursue by law: to bring before a court.—v.i. to carry on a legal prosecution.—ns. Prosecū′tion, the act of prosecuting or pursuing, esp. a civil or criminal suit: the party by which legal proceedings are instituted; Pros′ecūtor, one who prosecutes or pursues any plan or business: one who carries on a civil or criminal suit:—fem. Pros′ecūtrix.—Public prosecutor, a person whose duty it is to conduct prosecutions in the public interest. [L. prosequipro, onwards, sequi, secutus, to follow.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. prosecute

    To carry on; to continue; as, to prosecute the war. Also, to accuse of some crime or breach of law, or to pursue for punishment before a legal tribunal; to proceed against judicially.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prosecute' in Verbs Frequency: #1065

How to pronounce prosecute?

How to say prosecute in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of prosecute in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of prosecute in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of prosecute in a Sentence

  1. David Ogilvy:

    Never write an advertisement which you wouldn't want your own family to read. You wouldn't tell lies to your own wife. Don't tell them to mine. Do as you would be done by. If you tell lies about a product, you will be found out -- either by the Government, which will prosecute you, or by the consumer, who will punish you by not buying your product a second time. Good products can be sold by honest advertising. If you don't think the product is good, you have no business to be advertising it.

  2. James Butts:

    These are sociopathic killers that have to be sequestered from society, turn yourselves in. We will find you, and we will prosecute you.

  3. President Biden:

    During National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we reaffirm our commitment to protect and empower survivors of all forms of human trafficking, to prosecute traffickers, and to bring an end to human trafficking in the United States and around the world.

  4. Elizabeth Fegan:

    We are proud of what we have accomplished for the survivors, and wish Ms. Canosa no ill will for her desire to continue to prosecute Harvey Weinstein.

  5. George Gascón:

    None of those cases came to us, we can not prosecute an empty chair.

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Translations for prosecute

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"prosecute." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/prosecute>.

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    manifestly demonstrative
    A repugnant
    B ostensive
    C bibulous
    D naiant

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