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v. pros·e·cut·ed, pros·e·cut·ing, pros·e·cutes
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).
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.]
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