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v. pros·e·cut·ed, pros·e·cut·ing, pros·e·cutes
1. Law
a. To initiate or conduct a criminal case against: prosecute a defendant for murder.
b. To initiate or conduct (a civil case or legal action): prosecute a lawsuit for libel.
c. To initiate or conduct legal proceedings regarding (an offense, for example): prosecute drug possession.
a. To pursue (an undertaking, for example) until completion; continue to the very end: prosecute a war.
b. To carry on, engage in, or practice (an occupation or business).
3. To chase or pursue (a vessel): "He held a dispatch saying that [they] had prosecuted and probably killed an Echo-class missile submarine" (Tom Clancy).
v.intr. Law
To initiate or conduct legal proceedings: decided to prosecute.

[Middle English prosecuten, from Latin prōsequī, prōsecūt- : prō-, forward; see pro-1 + sequī, to follow; see sekw- in Indo-European roots.]

pros′e·cut′a·ble adj.
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.


(Law) carrying out a prosecution
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in classic literature ?
But first, the Prosecuting Attorney, who was paid to prosecute all offenders against the People, drew him aside and talked with him privately.
"Why not let it drop!" said the Prosecuting Attorney.
"Your office being what it is, you should be prosecuting me instead of asking me to make up with this--this fellow."
"Oh, I'll prosecute you all right," retorted the Prosecuting Attorney.
"You'd better shake and make up," the Prosecuting Attorney repeated, and this time there was almost a threat in his voice.
The morning of the trial the Prosecuting Attorney made another attempt to patch up the affair.
A JUDGE was awakened by the noise of a lawyer prosecuting a Thief.
Satisfied at last that his belongings were not in the possession of Achmet Zek, unless they were on the person of the chief himself, Tarzan decided to secure the person of the she before further prosecuting his search for the pouch.
On prosecuting the study of these with still greater precision, they succeeded in obtaining an exact account of the nature of these lines.
Their conduct and example gradually corrupted the natives, and impeded the works of the Catholic missionaries, who were at this time prosecuting their pious labors in the wilds of Canada.
By all which, instead of being discouraged, they are fifty times more violently bent upon prosecuting their schemes, driven equally on by hope and despair: that as for himself, being not of an enterprising spirit, he was content to go on in the old forms, to live in the houses his ancestors had built, and act as they did, in every part of life, without innovation: that some few other persons of quality and gentry had done the same, but were looked on with an eye of contempt and ill-will, as enemies to art, ignorant, and ill common-wealth's men, preferring their own ease and sloth before the general improvement of their country."
We would rather give up the idea of prosecuting this journey than not return.