- Prosecute is defined as to have a criminal case against someone, or to pursue or keep doing something.
- An example of to prosecute is to hold a court case against someone for murder.
- An example of to prosecute is to engage in a project until its end.
transitive verbprosecuted, prosecuting
- to follow up or pursue (something) to a conclusion: to prosecute a war with vigor
- to carry on; engage in
- to institute legal proceedings against, or conduct criminal proceedings in court against
- to try to get, enforce, etc. by legal process: to prosecute a claim
Origin of prosecuteMiddle English prosecuten ; from Classical Latin prosecutus, past participle of prosequi ; from pro-, pro- + sequi, to follow: see sequent
- to institute and carry on a legal suit
- to act as prosecutor
verbpros·e·cut·ed, pros·e·cut·ing, pros·e·cutes
- Law a. To initiate or conduct a criminal case against: prosecute a defendant for murder.b. To initiate or conduct (a civil case or legal action): prosecute a lawsuit for libel.c. To initiate or conduct legal proceedings regarding (an offense, for example): prosecute drug possession.
- a. To pursue (an undertaking, for example) until completion; continue to the very end: prosecute a war.b. To carry on, engage in, or practice (an occupation or business).
- To chase or pursue (a vessel): “He held a dispatch saying that [they] had prosecuted and probably killed an Echo-class missile submarine” (Tom Clancy).
verb, intransitive Law
Origin of prosecuteMiddle English prosecuten, from Latin prōsequī, prōsecūt- : prō-, forward; see pro–1 + sequī, to follow; see sekw-1 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present prosecutes, present participle prosecuting, simple past and past participle prosecuted)