execute

verb
ex·​e·​cute | \ ˈek-si-ˌkyüt \
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 \ 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

China has executed foreign nationals for drug-smuggling offenses. Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "Canadian’s Appeal of Chinese Drug-Smuggling Charges to Get Public Hearing," 27 Dec. 2018 Unfortunately, in his career as an actual legislative leader, Ryan executed a massive bait-and-switch on the question of making work pay. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Paul Ryan’s farewell address contained a blaze of nonsense about poverty," 20 Dec. 2018 Wallace was captured and executed, and finally Robert the Bruce stop vacillating between sides, backed independence, and rose to become the King of Scotland. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "'Outlaw King' vs. 'Braveheart': Which Movie Gets Scotland Right?," 13 Nov. 2018 Sansa and Arya Stark, who've reunited and executed Littlefinger, are at Winterfell. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The First Details on the Game of Thrones Season 8 Plot Were Just Revealed," 2 Nov. 2018 Other commentators see Moscow’s gambit, born of opportunism and executed ruthlessly, as a masterstroke. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Russia stays in the driver’s seat in Syria," 10 July 2018 However, popular legend holds that the Roman Emperor Claudius II executed one, Saint Valentine of Terni, on February 14 around 278 A.D. His crime? Alexandra Owens, Town & Country, "The Surprisingly Dark Story of Valentine's Day," 18 Dec. 2018 According to Mike Septh, certified personal trainer at Aaptiv, the deficit modification can help beginners properly execute the initial pull of the deadlift, or the moment when your back, traps, and shoulders work together to lift the weight. Leah Prinzivalli, SELF, "Why the Deficit Deadlift Is a Great Modification for Beginners," 5 Dec. 2018 Roswell Shortly before Smallville premiered in the early '00s, the WB released Roswell, which executed a fine balancing act between teenage alien soap opera and serious teen drama. Seventeen, "The 20 Greatest TV Teen Dramas of All Time," 4 Dec. 2018

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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Statistics for execute

Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for execute

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

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More Definitions for execute

execute

verb

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 \
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.

execute

transitive verb
ex·​e·​cute | \ ˈek-si-ˌkyüt \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on execute

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for execute

Spanish Central: Translation of execute

Nglish: Translation of execute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of execute for Arabic Speakers

Comments on execute

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to settle judicially or to act as judge

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