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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Pros·e·cute v. t. [imp. & p. p. Prosecuted p. pr. & vb. n. Prosecuting.]
 1. To follow or pursue with a view to reach, execute, or accomplish; to endeavor to obtain or complete; to carry on; to continue; as, to prosecute a scheme, hope, or claim.
 I am beloved Hermia;
 Why should not I, then, prosecute my right ?   --Shak.
 2. To seek to obtain by legal process; as, to prosecute a right or a claim in a court of law.
 3. Law To pursue with the intention of punishing; to accuse of some crime or breach of law, or to pursue for redress or punishment, before a legal tribunal; to proceed against judicially; as, to prosecute a man for trespass, or for a riot.
    To acquit themselves and prosecute their foes.   --Milton.