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 Claire Gastañaga, executive director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, said in a statement. Tyler Arnold, Washington Examiner, "Mass data collection of license plate numbers upheld by Virginia Supreme Court," 26 Oct. 2020 The group’s executive director, Terry Schilling, was a guest on Fox News host Tucker Carlson's show in August, and both said that the Trump campaign should highlight the question of transgender sports participation. NBC News, "For transgender advocates, election stokes hopes and fears," 26 Oct. 2020 Lisa Sewell is stepping down as executive director of the Utah Arts Festival after 14 years of leading Salt Lake City’s biggest open-air arts event — and after having to cancel the 2020 edition because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah Arts Festival director leaving after 14 years; assistant director will take over," 26 Oct. 2020 Neil Makhija, the executive director of Impact, an Indian American advocacy group and PAC, talked excitedly about the connections that were being forged this year. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "Are Asian Americans the Last Undecided Voters?," 26 Oct. 2020 Erik Misselt, interim executive director of the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board, said Cree’s license was still active and there was no final discipline in his file. Kim Hyatt, Star Tribune, "Court of Appeals: Police officer violated Lino Lakes man's rights when he entered his driveway," 26 Oct. 2020 The World Food Program won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, but executive director David Beasley sees the award as both an honor and a tragedy. David Meyer, Fortune, "Fortune and Refinitiv join forces to drive diversity reporting," 26 Oct. 2020 Miranda Parker is executive director of the Hospice House, a three-bedroom home for hospice patients who receive round-the-clock care through the foundation. Sharon Edwards, NOLA.com, "Hospice Foundation wines and dines supporters virtually on Nov. 7," 26 Oct. 2020 Previously the executive director for the Cleveland NAACP, Wright left in 2015 to lead The Good Community Foundation, established by developer Albert Ratner and his wife Audrey. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Construction to begin on new houses in Hough neighborhood, to help revitalize long-distressed area," 26 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Alabama High School Athletic Association executive director Steve Savarese is thankful to be entering Week 9 of the 2020 high school football season, a position many thought unattainable during the coronavirus pandemic. Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, al, "AHSAA executive director Steve Savarese warns against ‘COVID fatigue’ as playoffs near," 14 Oct. 2020 National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts was skeptical. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Meet the eight key figures who helped make the NBA bubble a success," 13 Oct. 2020 Michele Roberts, the union’s executive director, has said in multiple recent interviews that the delay may stretch into February. Marc Stein, New York Times, "N.B.A.’s Hollywood Ending Still Leaves Questions," 12 Oct. 2020 Franklin received a call from his supervisor, Mildred Glenn, code enforcement executive director, about a possible dumping in progress along 10th Avenue. Carrie Napoleon, chicagotribune.com, "Gary team in place to clean up illegal dumping; residents calling in when they see it, officials say," 5 Oct. 2020 Illinois High School Association executive director Craig Anderson sent the governor’s office a letter requesting permission to allow the IHSA to govern its sports and a timetable to return. Kevin Bessler, Washington Examiner, "Illinois governor closes door on football this fall," 28 Sep. 2020 Many businesses look to have a diverse group of workers, but more should focus on having diverse suppliers, Patrick Snyder, BizStarts executive director, said. Ricardo Torres, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'The business brings the neighborhood together': New program aims to help low-income entrepreneurs in Milwaukee," 27 Sep. 2020 Erich Martens, league executive director: With considerable influence on league decisions, his willingness to respect and listen to all sides of the issue has led to strong discourse among decision-makers. Star Tribune, "To play or wait: What's at stake for Monday meeting on restarting football, volleyball," 19 Sep. 2020 An audit that exposed deep and public divisions between the San Diego Association of Governments executive director and the agency’s independent auditor will be examined in closer detail over the coming months, the governing board decided Friday. Jeff Mcdonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Divided SANDAG board agrees to consider all recommendations from independent auditor," 18 Sep. 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

29 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Executive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/executive. Accessed 29 Oct. 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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