ex·​ec·​u·​tive | \ ig-ˈze-k(y)ə-tiv How to pronounce executive (audio) , -kyü- \

Definition of executive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of or relating to the execution of the laws and the conduct of public and national affairs
b : belonging to the branch of government that is charged with such powers as diplomatic representation, superintendence of the execution of the laws, and appointment of officials and that usually has some power over legislation (as through veto) — compare judicial, legislative
2a : designed for or relating to execution or carrying into effect executive board
b : having administrative or managerial responsibility executive director
3 : of or relating to an executive the executive offices



Definition of executive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the executive branch of a government also : the person or persons who constitute the executive magistracy of a state
2 : a directing or controlling office of an organization
3 : one that exercises administrative or managerial control

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Examples of executive in a Sentence

Adjective She has good executive skills. He has an executive position in the company. In the U.S., the President is the head of the executive branch of government. Noun The television network's executives decided not to air the controversial show. The President is the chief executive of the U.S. matters of policy controlled by the executive
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The American Pyrotechnics Association also is predicting a record year in consumer fireworks sales, said Julie Heckman, the association’s executive director. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Fireworks sales are booming nationwide due to COVID-19. Will sparklers sell out before Independence Day?," 28 June 2020 Some states had outdated plans and policies to face a pandemic, said Curt Decker, executive director of the National Disability Rights Network. Anchorage Daily News, "Thousands sick from COVID-19 in homes for the disabled," 28 June 2020 In Medford, those data indicated that 97% of students connected with online learning throughout the spring, said Jeanne Grazioli, Medford’s executive director of teaching and learning. oregonlive, "In Medford, summer school expands after vulnerable students struggle with distance learning," 28 June 2020 That included most recently a stint as executive director of the New York Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, which works to help people find employment. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "How Goodwill is reinventing itself to ride the pandemic resale wave," 28 June 2020 Ayman Mhanna is executive director of the Samir Kassir Foundation, which focuses on press freedom in Lebanon. Sarah Dadouch, Washington Post, "Lebanese judge bans media from interviewing U.S. ambassador after anti-Hezbollah comments," 28 June 2020 But Mei Wa Kwong, the Center for Connected Health Policy's executive director, expects that some of them will become permanent. TheWeek, "Telemedicine's tipping point," 27 June 2020 David Lozano, executive artistic director of Cara MÍa Theatre, blames a mixture of inaction and politics by public officials for the crisis. Manuel Mendoza, Dallas News, "Our lost year? The return of live theater in 2020 is a long shot," 26 June 2020 Laurie Thomas, the executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, said her organization was one of many to work with Mar on the ordinance. Justin Phillips, SFChronicle.com, "Ordinance requires large employers in San Francisco to rehire staff laid off during pandemic," 26 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hootsuite, a tool that helps companies manage their social media accounts, has tapped a top executive from Zendesk as its CEO. Danielle Abril, Fortune, "Hootsuite’s new CEO has some thoughts about Facebook’s advertiser rebellion," 29 June 2020 Facebook executive Carolyn Everson has said that the platform is committed to purging hateful content. BostonGlobe.com, "Stories you may have missed from the world of business," 29 June 2020 The news comes the same day that California's top education executive announced his office is working to reshape the role of police and security officers in schools statewide. Dominick Mastrangelo, Washington Examiner, "Oakland school board votes to defund contract with police, cites disproportionate arrest of black students," 25 June 2020 After spending three years as Fairview Park’s director of Public Service and Development, Leininger late last year became the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission executive director. John Benson, cleveland, "Lakewood names Shawn Leininger as next director of planning and development," 24 June 2020 And players’ association executive director Michelle Roberts indicated the organization could ask for additional restrictions on Disney employees if necessary. oregonlive, "NBA’s concern grows as Florida sees sharp rise in coronavirus infections: Report," 22 June 2020 Two Canadian detainees in China were charged with spying Friday, in what officials are saying is an attempt to pressure Canada to drop charges against a top Huawei executive under house arrest in Vancouver. Fox News, "Canadian detainees face charges of spying against the Chinese government," 20 June 2020 The Canadians were sentenced amid a heated diplomatic dispute between Ottawa and Beijing following the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, a top executive at Huawei. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "Australian sentenced to death in China for smuggling drugs," 13 June 2020 Chris Cox, a former top executive at Facebook, is returning to the company as chief product officer. Chronicle Staff And News Services, SFChronicle.com, "PlayStation 5 unveiling; Chris Cox back at Facebook; proposed robocall fine," 12 June 2020

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


1649, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1774, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for executive

Time Traveler

The first known use of executive was in 1649

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Statistics for executive

Last Updated

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Executive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/executive. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for executive



English Language Learners Definition of executive

: a person who manages or directs other people in a company or organization
: the executive branch of a government


ex·​ec·​u·​tive | \ ig-ˈze-kyə-tiv How to pronounce executive (audio) \

Kids Definition of executive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : fitted for or relating to the managing or directing of things Claudia showed the executive ability of a corporation president.— E. L. Konigsburg, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
2 : relating to the carrying out of the law and the conduct of public affairs the executive branch of government



Kids Definition of executive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a person who manages or directs a sales executive
2 : the executive branch of a government



Legal Definition of executive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to the execution or carrying out of laws serving a warrant is an executive function especially : belonging to the branch of government that is charged with such powers as diplomatic representation, overseeing the execution of laws, and appointment of officials — see also administrative — compare judicial, legislative
2a : of or relating to execution
b : having administrative or managerial responsibility an executive director
3 : of, relating to, or issued by an executive an executive pardon



Legal Definition of executive (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the executive branch of a government — compare judiciary, legislature
b : the person or persons making up that branch — see also governor, mayor, president
2 : a person who exercises administrative or managerial control

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