1. In a general sense, to pursue in a manner to injure, vex or afflict; to harass with unjust punishment or penalties for supposed offenses; to inflict pain from hatred or malignity.
2. Appropriately, to afflict, harass, or destroy for adherence to a particular creed or system of religious principles, or to a mode of worship. Thus Nero persecuted the Christians by crucifying some, burning others, and condemning others to be worried by dogs. See Acts 22.
3. To harass with solicitations or importunity.