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 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
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Recent Examples on the Web Despite learning about apprehending Glover at a location on Elliot Avenue earlier, LMPD decided to execute the search warrant at Taylor's home after midnight on March 13. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "Warrant used in fatal encounter between Breonna Taylor and police was linked to Louisville gentrification plan, family's lawyers claim," 7 July 2020 Some companies are exceeding government guidelines and creating task forces to execute return-to-work plans. Dallas News, "Not so fast, boss: As COVID-19 cases spike in Texas, more delay their return to the office," 19 June 2020 The other has the uncanny ability to conceive and execute a story in the oddest of places. John Shea, SFChronicle.com, "Escape from Detroit: A Giants sweep, a superstorm and Willie Mays at 65 mph," 15 June 2020 The relatives, including Earlene Branch Peterson, who lost her daughter and granddaughter in the killing, have argued that their grief is compounded by the push to execute Lee in the middle of a pandemic. Fox News, "Execution of Daniel Lee can proceed, federal appeals court rules," 13 July 2020 The key for Mayfield will be to develop the muscle memory necessary to execute it naturally without thinking about it. cleveland, "Will Baker Mayfield regain his accuracy? Cleveland Browns 20 questions for ‘20," 8 July 2020 Attackers can exploit the flaws to execute code of their choice or to obtain information stored on vulnerable systems. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Unscheduled fixes released for critical flaw in optional Windows codec," 1 July 2020 Be sure to execute it swiftly, all on the same day, as word will travel fast. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Divorced Dad hesitates to share news of new baby with kids, ex-wife," 26 June 2020 The Detroit Pistons must wait to execute their first window of major flexibility in free agency since 2016, now with GM Troy Weaver at the helm. Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons must wait until mid-October to draft game-changer, spend in free agency," 20 June 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

27 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Execute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/execute. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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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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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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