Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

persecute  - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive] persecute pronunciation in British English /ˈpɜː(r)sɪˌkjuːt/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlepersecuting
past tensepersecuted
past participlepersecuted
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    to treat someone extremely badly, or to refuse them equal rights, especially because of their race, religion, or political beliefs

    In those days, Christians were persecuted by the government.

  2. 2
    to frequently annoy or threaten someone

    Why are you persecuting me like this?

derived word


noun [countable]
Word Forms

rat tail

a type of hairstyle which has a long, thin strip of hair growing down the back of the neck

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

speak human

(of a politician) to be able to communicate and connect with ordinary people

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog