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tr.v. per·se·cut·ed, per·se·cut·ing, per·se·cutes
1. To oppress or harass with ill-treatment, especially because of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or beliefs.
2. To annoy persistently; bother: persecuted the babysitter with foolish questions.

[Middle English, from Old French persecuter, back-formation from persecuteur, persecutor, from Late Latin persecūtor, from persecūtus, past participle of persequī, to persecute, from Latin, to pursue : per-, per- + sequī, to follow; see sekw- in Indo-European roots.]

per′se·cu·tee′ (-kyo͞o-tē′) n.
per′se·cu′tive, per′se·cu·to′ry (-kyo͝o-tôr′ē, -kyo͞o′tə-rē) adj.
per′se·cu′tor n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


involving or characteristic of persecution
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
Since then, his symptoms have included derogatory auditory hallucinations, a recurrent persecutory delusion that governmental agencies are tracking his movements, and intermittent disorganized speech.
The criminal prosecutions against Mrs Arroyo were politically motivated and persecutory in nature.
Schreber, there is discussion of what Freud considers a "striking similarity" between Schreber's persecutory delusion and Freud's own theory.
It has been suggested that higher levels of perceived threat is associated with persecutory delusions (1), paranoia (2), aggressive behaviours (3) and social isolation (4) in schizophrenia.
Based on the predominant subjective experience, it is possible to identify five types of delusion: persecutory, grandiose, nihilistic, mystical, and somatic.
(C, 87) This nightmare scene clearly portrays the dangers of depending on/participating in the Cuban machine, coalescing into persecutory voices on the day of the poetic subject's death.
However, she denied having any previous auditory hallucinations or persecutory delusions.
My personal Joseph Campbellesque journey involved integrating my Shadow side of kitsch--going to the belly of the tacky beast that threatened me--and embracing its moist, hairy, pinkie-ringed paw--as my friend and healer-- rather than my persecutory bad object.
Pobjoy illustrates these persecutory harms with case studies that connect to the fundamental human rights of children as set out in the CRC.
Lawyers for Battaglia launched a last-minute appeal with the US Supreme Court to spare his life, arguing he suffers from severe mental illness and his "perception of reality may be so distorted that he is incompetent to be executed." They said three experts who examined him found he has "delusional disorder of the persecutory type," and was mentally incompetent for execution.
He endorsed auditory hallucinations, paranoid delusions, depressive symptoms, frequent night awakenings, and persecutory nightmares.