execute

verb
ex·​e·​cute | \ ˈek-si-ˌkyüt How to pronounce execute (audio) \
executed; executing

Definition of execute

transitive verb

1 : to carry out fully : put completely into effect execute a command
2 : to do what is provided or required by execute a decree
3 : to put to death especially in compliance with a legal sentence
4 : to make or produce (something, such as a work of art) especially by carrying out a design
5 : to perform what is required to give validity to execute a deed
6 : play execute a piece of music

intransitive verb

1 : to perform properly or skillfully the fundamentals of a sport or of a particular play never had a team execute better— Bobby Knight
2 : to perform indicated tasks according to encoded instructions used of a computer program or routine

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from execute

executable \ ˈek-​si-​ˌkyü-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce executable (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for execute

kill, slay, murder, assassinate, dispatch, execute mean to deprive of life. kill merely states the fact of death caused by an agency in any manner. killed in an accident frost killed the plants slay is a chiefly literary term implying deliberateness and violence but not necessarily motive. slew thousands of the Philistines murder specifically implies stealth and motive and premeditation and therefore full moral responsibility. convicted of murdering a rival assassinate applies to deliberate killing openly or secretly often for political motives. terrorists assassinated the Senator dispatch stresses quickness and directness in putting to death. dispatched the sentry with one bullet execute stresses putting to death as a legal penalty. executed by lethal gas

perform, execute, discharge, accomplish, achieve, effect, fulfill mean to carry out or into effect. perform implies action that follows established patterns or procedures or fulfills agreed-upon requirements and often connotes special skill. performed gymnastics execute stresses the carrying out of what exists in plan or in intent. executed the hit-and-run discharge implies execution and completion of appointed duties or tasks. discharged his duties accomplish stresses the successful completion of a process rather than the means of carrying it out. accomplished everything they set out to do achieve adds to accomplish the implication of conquered difficulties. achieve greatness effect adds to achieve an emphasis on the inherent force in the agent capable of surmounting obstacles. effected sweeping reforms fulfill implies a complete realization of ends or possibilities. fulfilled their ambitions

Examples of execute in a Sentence

He was captured, tried, and executed for murder. They carefully executed the plan. The pilot executed an emergency landing. The quarterback executed the play perfectly. execute the provisions of the will
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The Cardinals defense simply did not execute Sunday in the 31-21 loss to the Panthers in Charlotte. Katherine Fitzgerald, The Arizona Republic, "Cardinals defense fails to execute, struggles on third down in loss to Panthers," 5 Oct. 2020 My role was to prioritize, measure, and execute on different product initiatives including Affirm’s in-store expansion and online checkout optimization. Rachel King, Fortune, "The new workwear attire brand that launched when everyone is working from home," 4 Oct. 2020 Here, how to execute an inconspicuously posh sitting area. Kathryn O’shea-evans, WSJ, "How to Create a Cozy, Classic American Living Room," 25 Sep. 2020 Taylor's ex-boyfriend was the focus of a narcotics investigation that led officers to execute the warrant on her apartment, where no drugs were found. Christina Carrega, CNN, "There was 'a lot of sadness and weeping' after grand jury decision not to charge officers with killing Breonna Taylor," 24 Sep. 2020 There's a difference: many can throw the ball, yet only a few can flawlessly execute a game plan. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Casey Mize's bright Detroit Tigers future remains intact despite struggles," 24 Sep. 2020 Watching film back, there were plays to be made against Pittsburgh, but the team didn’t execute. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville football working on fundamentals, especially on offensive line, during bye week," 2 Oct. 2020 If Johnson can execute a comeback story—that’s always a good one. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "Where will Peggy Johnson take Magic Leap?," 2 Oct. 2020 Watch Dallas execute a quarterback speed option, flawlessly. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "Why the Browns defense must be ready to run with the Cowboys' fast offense: Film review," 2 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'execute.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of execute

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for execute

Middle English, from Anglo-French executer, from execucion execution

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about execute

Time Traveler for execute

Time Traveler

The first known use of execute was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for execute

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Execute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/execute. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for execute

execute

verb
How to pronounce execute (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of execute

: to kill (someone) especially as punishment for a crime
: to do (something that you have planned to do or been told to do)
: to do or perform (an action or movement that requires skill)

execute

verb
ex·​e·​cute | \ ˈek-sə-ˌkyüt How to pronounce execute (audio) \
executed; executing

Kids Definition of execute

1 : to kill according to a legal order
2 : to put into effect : perform or carry out execute a plan
3 : to make according to a design The painting was executed in bright colors.
ex·​e·​cute | \ ˈek-si-ˌkyüt How to pronounce execute (audio) \
executed; executing

Legal Definition of execute

1 : perform: as
a : to carry out fully includes not only executed violence, but also threatened violenceLouisiana Civil Code
b : to do what is provided or required by execute a contract execute a search warrant
c : to deem (a use in property) to confer full seisin in a cestui que use by operation of the Statute of Uses
2 : to perform what is required to give validity to especially : to complete (as by signing and delivering) in proper form execute a note execute a deed
3 : to put to death in compliance with a judicial death sentence

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on execute

What made you want to look up execute? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!