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

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Other Words from execute

executable \ ˈek-​si-​ˌkyü-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce execute (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
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Recent Examples on the Web In coming weeks, head coach Steve Kerr will learn whether his group has the talent and basketball IQ to execute a game plan. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors look to get back to free-flowing ways vs. Bulls," 26 Dec. 2020 The Justice Department is set to execute three more people in January – an unusual flurry of executions by an administration just days before the next one takes over. Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY, "Trump's execution spree reflects death penalty system 'shaped by racial bias,' critics say," 24 Dec. 2020 The Cleveland Browns can make a case to design and execute an offensive plan as well as almost any team in the NFL. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "What does it take to beat the Cleveland Browns right now? A little magic: Doug Lesmerises," 15 Dec. 2020 Arkansas receiver Mike Woods said the offense didn't execute its game plan well. Tom Murphy, Arkansas Online, "Punt break: Tide open floodgates with return TD," 13 Dec. 2020 Establishing the board and inspector general is just one of the initiatives activists have called for in the wake of Breonna Taylor’s death as officers tried to execute a search warrant in March. Steve Bittenbender, Washington Examiner, "Louisville creates new civilian review for police," 3 Dec. 2020 The administration has pushed to execute that plan before losing control of the apportionment process when President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20. al, "Trump, Alabama fight to keep undocumented immigrants from census count," 30 Nov. 2020 Decker also was unequivocal about his support for Patricia and laid some of the blame on players’ inability to execute the game plan at Carolina. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions riding with coach Matt Patricia 'until the wheels fall off'," 24 Nov. 2020 Attempting to execute that plan in 1995 would have been preposterous. Steven Levy, Wired, "The Tenuous Promise of the Substack Dream," 20 Nov. 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for execute

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for execute

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Execute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/execute. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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

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Comments on execute

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