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1. the act of pursuing a lawsuit or criminal trial; 2. the party initiating a criminal suit, ie, the state. Where the civil litigant, or the state in a criminal trial, fails to move the case towards final resolution or trial as required by the court schedule, the matter may be dismissed for WANT OF PROSECUTION or for FAILURE TO PROSECUTE.

see malicious prosecution.
Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016

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