pros·e·cute / ˈpräsiˌkyoōt/ • v. [tr.] 1. institute legal proceedings against (a person or organization): they were prosecuted for obstructing the highway. ∎ institute legal proceedings in respect of (a claim or offense): the state's attorney's office seemed to decide that this was a case worth prosecuting | [intr.] the company didn't prosecute because of his age. ∎ [intr.] (of a lawyer) conduct the case against the party being accused or sued in a lawsuit: Mr. Ryan will be prosecuting this morning. 2. continue with (a course of action) with a view to its completion: a serious threat to the government's ability to prosecute the war. ∎ archaic carry on (a trade or pursuit): waiting for permission to prosecute my craft. DERIVATIVES: pros·e·cut·a·ble adj.
So prosecution XVI. — OF. or late L.
To follow through; to commence and continue an action or judicial proceeding to its ultimate conclusion. To proceed against a defendant by charging that person with a crime and bringing him or her to trial.
The state, on behalf of the people, generally prosecutes a defendant accused of a crime.