Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1400-1500
Language: French
Origin: persécuter, from Latin persecutus, past participle of persequi 'to pursue, follow'

persecute

verb
     
per‧se‧cute [transitive]
1 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.
2 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

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