The words Persecute and Prosecute are often confused, as they both have 'secute' in them; but the prefix in each of the words are totally different and pronounced completely differently.
1. Persecute is a verb.
Meanings: harass; hound; pursue; maltreat; hunt; single out; bully.
2. Prosecute is a verb.
Meanings: put on trial; act against; impeach; take legal action; bring to court; sue; indict.
Examples of Persecute
1. Many of the locals complained against their Corporator for his constant persecutions.
2. In the name of social activism, Satish often persecuted shopkeepers needlessly.
3. The CID officer did not give up on the case and vowed to relentlessly persecute the people behind the crime. [Here persecute is used in the meaning of pursue/hunt].
Examples of Prosecute
1. The businessman was determined to prosecute his partner for performing illegal activities and ruining their business.
2. Merlin prosecuted his neighbour for damaging his property.
3. Very few people prosecute Banks when they receive unsolicited marketing calls as they do not wish to face the long-drawn out legal battle.