Meaning of “prosecution” in the English Dictionary

"prosecution" in British English

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uk /ˌprɒs.ɪˈkjuː.ʃən/ us /ˌprɑː.səˈkjuː.ʃən/

prosecution noun (LEGAL)

C2 [ C or U ] the act of prosecuting someone:

A number of the cases have resulted in successful prosecution.
Doctors guilty of neglect are liable to prosecution.
the prosecution [ S, + sing/pl verb ]

More examples

  • The prosecution has to establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
  • Her lawyer accused the prosecution of founding its case on insufficient evidence.
  • This afternoon the prosecution will call its star witness.
  • During the trial, the prosecution was accused of withholding crucial evidence from the defence.
  • The key witness for the prosecution was offered police protection after she received death threats.

C2 the lawyers in a court case who represent the side that accuses someone of committing a crime:

His plea of guilty to manslaughter was not accepted by the prosecution.
The prosecution alleged that he lured the officer to his death by making an emergency call.

More examples

  • The loophole has allowed hundreds of drink-drivers to avoid prosecution.
  • Those kids were lucky, they only narrowly escaped prosecution.

(Definition of “prosecution” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"prosecution" in American English

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prosecutionnoun [ C/U ]

us /ˌprɑs·ɪˈkju·ʃən/

the act of officially accusing someone of committing an illegal act, esp. by bringing a case against that person in a court of law:

[ U ] She was granted full immunity from prosecution by the state in return for her testimony.

law The prosecution refers to the lawyers in a trial who try to prove that a person accused of committing a crime is guilty of that crime.

(Definition of “prosecution” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"prosecution" in Business English

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uk /ˌprɒsɪˈkjuːʃən/ us LAW

[ C or U ] the process of officially accusing someone in a court of law of committing a crime:

face prosecution (for sth) The company faces prosecution for breaches of safety regulations.
bring a prosecution against sb They decided to bring a private prosecution against the boy's alleged killers.

[ S ] also the prosecution the lawyers who try to prove that a person accused of committing a crime is guilty:

The prosecution claims that the company tried to mislead investigators by lying under oath.


(Definition of “prosecution” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)