ex·​e·​cu·​tion | \ ˌek-si-ˈkyü-shən How to pronounce execution (audio) \

Definition of execution

1 : the act or process of executing : performance
2 : a putting to death especially as a legal penalty
3 : the process of enforcing a legal judgment (as against a debtor) also : a judicial writ directing such enforcement
4 : the act or mode or result of performance
5 archaic : effective or destructive action his brandished steel, which smoked with bloody execution— William Shakespeare usually used with doas soon as day came, we went out to see what execution we had done— Daniel Defoe

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Examples of execution in a Sentence

He is in prison awaiting execution. The quarterback's execution of the play was perfect. skillful execution of the dance steps
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Recent Examples on the Web Corruption has also been to blame for some of the poor execution. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘We’re invisible’: Peru’s moment of reckoning on informal workers," 30 June 2020 The individual inmates facing execution all could file additional challenges, which could impact when and if these sentences are carried out. Mark Berman, BostonGlobe.com, "Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to new federal death penalty procedure," 30 June 2020 The execution, however, tends to be pretty dangerous. Carmel Kookogey, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Citrus steam cannot kill viruses such as the coronavirus," 26 June 2020 Rudolph avoided the possibility of execution by pleading guilty on April 13, 2005 to the bombing in Birmingham and bombings in Atlanta, including the Olympic Centennial Park blast in 1996 that injured more than 120. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Serial bomber Eric Robert Rudolph wants out of prison," 25 June 2020 What-if questions are perfect for blue sky brainstorming, imagining what’s possible without any regard for execution, cost, risk, feasibility, competition, or other restrictive factors. Josh Linkner, Detroit Free Press, "What's your 'what if'? Turns out that when you ask it matters," 20 June 2020 Fit into the roles: The addition of a new starter can shake up everything about the way a professional team handles it’s preparation and execution. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "Preview, prediction and player to watch: Dallas Fuel enter winnable weekend against Vancouver," 19 June 2020 This past Christmas Day was the 30th anniversary of the public execution by firing squad of Romania’s last Communist dictator, Nicolae Ceaușescu, who’d ruled for 24 years. Melissa Fay Greene, The Atlantic, "Can an Unloved Child Learn to Love?," 18 June 2020 It was blown down by wind a month later, but its planning, execution, and construction were chronicled by the documentary filmmakers David and Albert Maysles. Philip Terzian, Washington Examiner, "Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, 1935-2020," 4 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'execution.' 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 execution

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for execution

Middle English execucion, from Anglo-French, from Latin exsecution-, exsecutio, from exsequi to execute, from ex- + sequi to follow — more at sue

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Time Traveler for execution

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for execution

Last Updated

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Execution.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/execution. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for execution


How to pronounce execution (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of execution

: the act of killing someone especially as punishment for a crime
: the act of doing or performing something


ex·​e·​cu·​tion | \ ˌek-sə-ˈkyü-shən How to pronounce execution (audio) \

Kids Definition of execution

1 : the act of killing someone as a legal penalty
2 : the act of doing or performing something execution of a plan


ex·​e·​cu·​tion | \ ˌek-si-ˈkyü-shən How to pronounce execution (audio) \

Legal Definition of execution

1 : the act or process of executing witnessed the execution of the will
2 : a putting to death as fulfillment of a judicial death sentence
3 : the process of enforcing a judgment (as against a debtor) also : a judicial writ (as fieri facias) by which an officer is empowered to carry a judgment into effect — see also levy

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