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

And the bulk of his focus has been on policy proposals — like executing drug traffickers or building a wall — that most experts say would do nothing to combat the epidemic. German Lopez, Vox, "The Democratic debates neglected one of America’s biggest public health crises," 1 Aug. 2019 Rios, Cruz and Hernandez De La Paz were arrested in February after agents executed search warrants for the restaurant, and houses on Hodgson Avenue and West 58th Street in Cleveland. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Feds charge more defendants in probe into cocaine trafficking at Lakewood Mexican restaurant," 1 Aug. 2019 Milwaukee police found more than 26 pounds of marijuana, $36,000 in cash and a handgun while executing a search warrant Monday. Keith Schubert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee police find 26 pounds of pot, $36,000 in cash while serving a search warrant," 30 July 2019 Barr ordered that the method for executing prisoners – a lethal cocktail – be exchanged for injections of a single drug. Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY, "'45 is a puppet': Trump's wild stage decor," 25 July 2019 Local police, along with state police and the Drug Enforcement Agency, executed a warrant and seized fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamines and packaging material from the room that Gomez sometimes stayed in, police said. Emily Brindley, courant.com, "West Hartford residents arrested for meth, fentanyl, loaded firearm near children," 24 July 2019 In addition to low post moves, McHale also worked with Turner on executing pick and pops in the high post and attacking smaller players off switches. Akeem Glaspie, Indianapolis Star, "Pacers forward Myles Turner worked on post moves with Hall of Famer Kevin McHale," 22 July 2019 Wang was arrested Friday while police were executing a search warrant at the business, which is in the Arbor Pointe strip mall off Concord Boulevard and northeast of Minnesota 55. Nick Ferraro, Twin Cities, "Inver Grove Heights massage business was a front for prostitution, charges say," 22 July 2019 Where the film is more successful in executing this idea is in shooting Adam’s artwork. Beandrea July, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Sell By': Film Review | Outfest 2019," 22 July 2019

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

9 Aug 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 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

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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

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