|Origin:||persécuter, from Latin persecutus, past participle of persequi 'to pursue, follow'|
to treat someone cruelly or unfairly over a period of time, especially because of their religious or political beliefs:
The Puritans left England to escape being persecuted.
to deliberately cause difficulties for someone by annoying them often [= harass]:
Like many celebrities, she complained of being persecuted by the press.
—persecutor noun [countable]
—persecution noun [uncountable and countable]
the persecution of writers who criticize the government