- To pursue in a manner to injure, grieve, or afflict; to beset with cruelty or malignity; to harass; especially, to afflict, harass, punish, or put to death for one's race, sexual identity, adherence to a particular religious creed, or mode of worship.
- "Do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." – Matt. 5:44.
- To harass with importunity; to pursue with persistent solicitations; to annoy.
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for persecute in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)