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prosecute - definition and synonyms


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verb prosecute pronunciation in British English /ˈprɒsɪˌkjuːt/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleprosecuting
past tenseprosecuted
past participleprosecuted
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  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to officially accuse someone of a crime and ask a court of law to judge them

    If the fine is not paid within ten days, we will be forced to prosecute.

    No one has yet been prosecuted in connection with the murder.

    prosecute someone for something:

    He might still be prosecuted for perjury.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to try to prove as a lawyer in court that someone is guilty of a crime

    Julius Capon, prosecuting, described the defendant as ‘ruthless’.

    Two Scottish lawyers will prosecute the case.


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in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

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