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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Persecute


PER'SECUTE, verb transitive [Latin persequor; per and sequor, to pursue. See Seek and Essay.]

1. In a general sense, to pursue in a manner to injure, vex or afflict; to harass with unjust punishment or penalties for supposed offenses; to inflict pain from hatred or malignity.

2. Appropriately, to afflict, harass, or destroy for adherence to a particular creed or system of religious principles, or to a mode of worship. Thus Nero persecuted the Christians by crucifying some, burning others, and condemning others to be worried by dogs. See Acts 22:4.

3. To harass with solicitations or importunity.