verb per·form \ pər-ˈfȯrm , pə- \
|Updated on: 7 Aug 2018

Definition of perform

1 : to adhere to the terms of : fulfill
  • perform a contract
2 : carry out, do
3 a : to do in a formal manner or according to prescribed ritual
b : to give a rendition of : present
1 : to carry out an action or pattern of behavior : act, function
2 : to give a performance : play


play \pər-ˌfȯr-mə-ˈbi-lə-tē, pə-\ noun


play \pər-ˈfȯr-mə-bəl, pə-\ adjective


play \pər-ˈfȯr-mər, pə-\ noun

Examples of perform in a Sentence

  1. The doctor had to perform surgery immediately.

  2. The magician performed some amazing tricks.

  3. The gymnasts performed their routines perfectly.

  4. You are required to perform 50 hours of community service.

  5. The band will be performing on the main stage.

  6. She's a wonderful singer who loves to perform before a live audience.

  7. The band will perform songs from their new album.

  8. The class performed the play for the school.

Recent Examples of perform from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perform.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of perform

Middle English, from Anglo-French parfurmer, alteration of perforner, parfurnir, from par-, per- thoroughly (from Latin per-) + furnir to complete — more at furnish

Synonym Discussion of perform

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

PERFORM Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of perform for English Language Learners

  • : to do an action or activity that usually requires training or skill

  • : to entertain an audience by singing, acting, etc.

  • —used to describe how effective or successful someone or something is

PERFORM Defined for Kids


verb per·form \ pər-ˈfȯrm \

Definition of perform for Students

performed; performing
1 : to carry out : do
  • Anyone can perform this task.
2 : to do something needing special skill
  • The doctor had to perform surgery.
3 : to give a public presentation for entertainment



Law Dictionary


transitive verb per·form

legal Definition of perform

1 : to adhere to and fulfill the terms of
  • perform an obligation
2 : to carry out or bring about
  • perform the work according to design
3 : to do according to prescribed ritual or law
  • perform a marriage ceremony
4 : to give a public rendition or presentation of
  • perform a copyrighted play
1 : to adhere to and fulfill the terms of a contract, promise, or obligation
  • failed to perform under the agreement
2 : to carry out or present something

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very hard to disturb or upset

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