Persecution is unfair or abusive treatment toward a person or group of people, such as the persecution of someone who is different by calling him or her rude names and making threats.

The noun persecution is related to persecute, which comes from Latin persecut-, meaning “followed with hostility.” Persecution means hassling or singling out a person or group because of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, or social status. In many schools, the persecution of students by bullies has resulted in a zero-tolerance policy for such despicable behavior.

Definitions of persecution

n the act of persecuting (especially on the basis of race or religion)

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oppression, subjugation
the act of subjugating by cruelty
organized persecution of an ethnic group (especially Jews)
handing over prisoners to countries where torture is allowed
torture, torturing
the deliberate, systematic, or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons in an attempt to force another person to yield information or to make a confession or for any other reason
bastinado, falanga
a form of torture in which the soles of the feet are beaten with whips or cudgels
a form of foot torture in which the feet are encased in iron and slowly crushed
a form of torture in which cigarettes or cigars or other hot implements are used to burn the victim's skin
crucifixion, excruciation
the infliction of extremely painful punishment or suffering
genital torture
blunt or penetrating trauma or rape (vaginal or anal)
judicial torture
torture that is sanctioned by the state and executed by duly accredited officials
kia quen
a form of foot torture used by the Chinese in which the victim's foot was placed between three pieces of bamboo and systematically squeezed
a form of torture used by American Indians in which sensitive parts of the body were squeezed between two boards until the victim could bear no more
nail pulling, nail removal
a form of torture in which the fingernails or toenails are removed
picket, piquet
a form of military punishment used by the British in the late 17th century in which a soldier was forced to stand on one foot on a pointed stake
prolonged interrogation
a form of psychological torture inflicted by questioning the victim for hours
a form of torture in which pain is inflicted by stretching the body
sensory deprivation
a form of psychological torture inflicted by depriving the victim of all sensory input
sleep deprivation
a form of psychological torture inflicted by depriving the victim of sleep
strapado, strappado
a form of torture in which the hands are tied behind a person's back and they are lifted off the ground by a rope tied to their wrists, then allowed to drop until their fall is checked with a jerk by the rope
electric shock
the use of electricity to administer punishment or torture
dismemberment, taking apart
the removal of limbs; being cut to pieces
Type of:
abuse, ill-treatment, ill-usage, maltreatment
cruel or inhumane treatment

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