Middle English, from Middle French persecuter, back-formation from persecuteur persecutor, from Late Latin persecutor, from persequi to persecute, from Latin, to pursue, from per- through + sequi to follow
- Date: *15th century
- 1 : to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically : to cause to suffer because of belief
- 2 : to annoy with persistent or urgent approaches (as attacks, pleas, or importunities)
Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another. The most common forms are religious persecution, ethnic persecution, and political persecution, though there is naturally some overlap between these.