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

Previously, Intel had released just some of the technical details of the architecture, such as the number of instructions Sunny Cove could execute in parallel (five), and some very basic performance comparisons to prior generations. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel reveals its 10nm Ice Lake Core and stacked Lakefield CPUs, and 'Project Athena' for laptops," 7 Jan. 2019 In the same world where that video of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dancing is actually a political scandal I would be executed in the center of town for many old instant messenger conversations about the awesomeness of Dave Matthews Band. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Leaked College Dancing Video Has the Internet Obsessed," 4 Jan. 2019 Goff hit Cooper Kupp with two of his four TD throws during a 251-yard first half in which the third-year quarterback flawlessly executed coach Sean McVay's offense. Greg Beacham, Fox News, "Rams top Vikings, 38-31, as Goff throws for 465 yards, 5 TDs," 28 Sep. 2018 When Tsar Nicholas II and his family were executed in 1918, rumors swirled that his daughter, Anastasia, had secretly escaped, spawning conspiracy theories that the family lineage continues. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Watch the First Full Trailer for The Romanoffs, Matthew Weiner's First Series Since Mad Men," 14 Aug. 2018 They’re classicist in many ways, but they’re executed in the modern styles of computer animation. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Hotel Transylvania’s blockbuster success, explained in one giant dog and one tiny hat," 13 July 2018 The deliberate manner in which Gilgeous-Alexander executed that play in his first professional game with the Clippers on Friday night in the NBA Summer League was a display of how the 6-foot-6 point guard is skilled at playing at his pace. Broderick Turner, latimes.com, "Rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander shows all-around skills during Clippers debut," 8 July 2018 As a result, the trades can be sorted and executed in correct sequence. John Markoff, New York Times, "Time Split to the Nanosecond Is Precisely What Wall Street Wants," 29 June 2018 The React Element 87 straddles the aesthetic line between timeless and of-the-moment, thanks to a silhouette that's familiar to anyone who's bought sneakers in the last twenty years executed in materials that lean heavy on the futuristic vibes. Tyler Watamanuk, GQ, "The Nike React Element 87 Is the Swoosh's Next Hit Sneaker," 27 June 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.

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

Statistics for execute

Last Updated

19 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for execute

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 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.

execute

transitive verb
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

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

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

likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!