• IPA: /ˈpɹɒsɪkjuːt/

prosecute (prosecutes, present participle prosecuting; past and past participle prosecuted)

  1. (transitive, legal) To start criminal proceedings against.
    to prosecute a man for trespass, or for a riot
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book SAMSON AGONISTES”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗, line 898:
      To acquit themſelves and proſecute their foes
  2. (transitive, legal) To charge, try.
    • 1959, William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch, page 9
      The Vigilante is prosecuted in Federal Court under a lynch bill and winds up in a Federal Nut House specially designed for the containment of ghosts […]
  3. To seek to obtain by legal process.
    to prosecute a right or a claim in a court of law
  4. (transitive) To pursue something to the end.
    to prosecute a scheme, hope, or claim
    • c. 1595–1596, William Shakespeare, “A Midsommer Nights Dreame”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene i]:
      I am beloved of beauteous Hermia; / Why should not I, then, prosecute my right?
  • French: poursuivre en justice
  • German: strafrechtlich verfolgen (law), gerichtlich belangen (law), belangen
  • Russian: пресле́довать
  • Spanish: procesar
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