KJV Dictionary Definition: persecute


PER'SECUTE, v.t. L. persequor; per and sequor, to pursue. See Seek and Essay.

1. In a general sense, to pursue in a manner to injure, vex or afflict; to harass with unjust punishment or penalties for supposed offenses; to inflict pain from hatred or malignity.

2. Appropriately, to afflict, harass, or destroy for adherence to a particular creed or system of religious principles, or to a mode of worship. Thus Nero persecuted the Christians by crucifying some, burning others, and condemning others to be worried by dogs. See Acts.22.

3. To harass with solicitations or importunity.


PER'SECUTED, pp. Harassed by troubles or punishments unjustly inflicted, particularly for religious opinions.


PER'SECUTING, ppr. Pursuing with enmity or vengeance, particularly for adhering to a particular religion.


PERSECU'TION, n. The act or practice of persecuting; the infliction of pain, punishment or death upon others unjustly, particularly for adhering to a religious creed or mode of worship, either by way of penalty or for compelling them to renounce their principles. Historians enumerate ten persecutions suffered by the Christians, beginning with that of Nero, A.D. 31, and ending with that of Diocletian, A.D. 303 to 313.

1. The state of being persecuted.

Our necks are under persecution; we labor and have no rest. Lam.5.