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In politics, a person or persons constituting the branch of government charged with executing or carrying out the laws and appointing officials, formulating and instituting foreign policy, and providing diplomatic representation. In the U.S., a system of checks and balances keeps the power of the executive more or less equal to that of the judiciary and the legislature. See alsomayor, president, prime minister.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on executive, visit Britannica.com.