Share this entry

Share this page

prosecute

Line breaks: pros|ecute
Pronunciation: /ˈprɒsɪkjuːt
 
/

Definition of prosecute in English:

verb

[with object]
1Institute or conduct legal proceedings against (a person or organization): they were prosecuted for obstructing the highway [no object]: the company didn’t prosecute because of his age
More example sentences
  • If these things had happened solely in the private sector, the members of the cartel would have been prosecuted under the Trade Practices Act.
  • In theory drivers could also be prosecuted for carrying passengers who are not wearing a seatbelt, meaning that in a normal car more than three back-seat passengers would be an offence.
  • Not one worker or trade union has been prosecuted.
1.1Institute legal proceedings in respect of (a claim or offence): the state’s attorney’s office seemed to decide that this was a case worth prosecuting
More example sentences
  • This is a case of an omission or omissions by the appellants as the respondent's solicitors: the failure to prosecute his claim with due diligence which led to his counterclaim being struck out.
  • The Judge hearing any such application will be in a better position than I am to take stock of the Claimant and her prospects of actually prosecuting this claim before the court.
  • The Law Reform Commission recommended that the offences be prosecuted summarily.
Synonyms
take to court, bring/institute legal proceedings against, bring an action against, take legal action against, accuse, cite, summons, sue, try, bring to trial, put on trial, put in the dock, bring a charge against, bring a criminal charge against, charge, prefer charges against, bring a suit against, indict, arraign;
North American impeach
informal have the law on, do
North American informal jug
rare implead
2Continue with (a course of action) with a view to its completion: a serious threat to the government’s ability to prosecute the war
More example sentences
  • And the administration says, this is the reason it continues to prosecute the war and continues to try to pour more resources into intelligence.
  • Certainly, there was a recognition that we'd need to rebuild stuff that we broke in the course of prosecuting the war.
  • Or does he believe that a bold enough feint will allow him to continue to prosecute this war with his original plan?
2.1 archaic Carry on (a trade or pursuit): I am waiting for permission to prosecute my craft
Synonyms
pursue, carry on, conduct, direct, engage in, work at, proceed with, continue, continue with, keep on with, go ahead with;

Origin

late Middle English (in sense 2): from Latin prosecut- 'pursued, accompanied', from the verb prosequi, from pro- 'onward' + sequi 'follow'.

Derivatives

prosecutable

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • On Tuesday afternoon, a press officer contacted our reporter to say that some of the pictures appeared as though they had been taken from the trackside and that that would amount to trespass, a prosecutable offence.
  • The possibilities of moral and political embarrassment, to say nothing of the implication of commanding officers in prosecutable actions, are simply too great.
  • In many instances, the available evidence does not rise to the level of prosecutable action.

Words that rhyme with prosecute

executepersecute

Definition of prosecute in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈemyələs
adjective
seeking to emulate or imitate someone or something