- 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.
Prosecute is defined as to have a criminal case against someone, or to pursue or keep doing something.
transitive verb-·cut·ed, -·cut·ing
- 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 )
To initiate or conduct legal proceedings: decided to prosecute.
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)