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Definition of "persecute" [per•se•cute]

  • To oppress or harass with ill-treatment, especially because of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or beliefs. (verb-transitive)
  • To annoy persistently; bother. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "persecute" in a sentence
  • "And willingness to die for a hallucination one experiences and which happens to reinforce a fraudulent claim made by people one used to persecute, is a third thing."
  • "But I do not know anyone who is personally hurt (as opposed to theoretically offended on behalf of theoretical others) by the use of gyp, and (as I put it in the original discussion, when persecution was brought up) "None of the people who persecute the Roma use the word, and none of the people who use the word persecute Roma.""
  • "Nay, it would show that Jesus has not saved the world, if we can go on and speak of him as an actual existence, born of a virgin and risen from the dead, and in his name persecute one another -- oppose the advance of science, deny freedom of thought, terrorize children and women with pictures of hell-fire and seek to establish a spiritual monopoly in the world, when the evidence in hand seems clearly to indicate that such a person never existed."