persecute Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
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Meaning of “persecute” in the English Dictionary

"persecute" in British English

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persecuteverb [T]

uk   /ˈpɜː.sɪ.kjuːt/  us   /ˈpɝː-/
to ​treat someone ​unfairly or ​cruelly over a ​longperiod of ​time because of ​theirrace, ​religion, or ​politicalbeliefs, or to ​annoy someone by ​refusing to ​leave them ​alone: Religious ​minorities were persecuted and ​massacred during the ten-year ​regime. His ​latestfilm is about the ​experience of being persecuted for being ​gay. Ever since the ​newsbroke about her ​divorce, she has been persecuted by the ​tabloidpress.
(Definition of persecute from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"persecute" in American English

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persecuteverb [T]

 us   /ˈpɜr·sɪˌkjut/
to ​treatpeopleunfairly or ​cruelly over a ​period of ​time because of ​theirrace, ​religion, etc.: She ​claimed the ​government was persecuting ​itsopponents.
persecution
noun [U]  us   /ˌpɜr·sɪˈkju·ʃən/
political/​religious persecution
persecutor
noun [C]  us   /ˈpɜr·sɪˌkju·t̬ər/
Given the ​chance, ​victims may ​seekrevenge on ​their persecutors.
(Definition of persecute from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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