noun per·for·mance \pə(r)-ˈfȯr-mən(t)s\

Definition of performance

  1. 1a :  the execution of an actionb :  something accomplished :  deed, feat

  2. 2 :  the fulfillment of a claim, promise, or request :  implementation

  3. 3a :  the action of representing a character in a playb :  a public presentation or exhibition a benefit performance

  4. 4a :  the ability to perform :  efficiencyb :  the manner in which a mechanism performs engine performance

  5. 5 :  the manner of reacting to stimuli :  behavior

  6. 6 :  the linguistic behavior of an individual :  parole; also :  the ability to speak a certain language — compare competence 3

Examples of performance in a sentence

  1. This evening's performance will start at 8 o'clock.

  2. The hall is usually used for orchestra performances.

  3. The critics loved her performance as the villain.

  4. A supervisor will evaluate each employee's performance.

  5. employees with strong job performances

  6. Employees are given an annual performance assessment.

  7. The gas additive improves engine performance.

  8. an increased level of performance

  9. We've introduced new performance levels.

15th Century

First Known Use of performance

15th century

Other Performing Arts Terms

PERFORMANCE Defined for English Language Learners


noun per·for·mance \pə(r)-ˈfȯr-mən(t)s\

Definition of performance for English Language Learners

  • : an activity (such as singing a song or acting in a play) that a person or group does to entertain an audience

  • : the way an actor performs a part in a play, movie, etc.

  • : the act of doing a job, an activity, etc.

PERFORMANCE Defined for Kids


noun per·for·mance \pər-ˈfȯr-məns\

Definition of performance for Students

  1. 1 :  the carrying out of an action He's in the performance of his duty.

  2. 2 :  a public entertainment We attended a symphony performance.

Law Dictionary


noun per·for·mance

Legal Definition of performance

  1. 1 :  work done in employment unsatisfactory performance

  2. 2a :  what is required to be performed in fulfillment of a contract, promise, or obligation substituted a new performance in novation of the contract b :  the fulfillment of a contract, promise, or obligation part performance 1 :  partial performance of a contract, promise, or obligation 2 :  a doctrine which provides an exception to the Statute of Frauds requirement that a contract be in writing by treating partial performance and the acceptance of it by the other party as evidence of an enforceable contract — compare partial breach at breach specific performance 1 :  the complete or exact fulfillment of the terms of a contract, promise, or obligation 2 :  an equitable remedy that requires a party to fulfill the exact terms of a contract, promise, obligation, or decree mandating a remedy and that is used when legal remedies (as damages) are inadequate the common law prohibition against specific performance as a remedy for alleged breach of employment contract — Chady v. Solomon Schechter Day Schs., 645 N.E.2d 983 (1995) — compare injunction substantial performance 1 :  performance of the essential terms of a contract, promise, or obligation a contractor is not entitled to a lien in the absence of substantial performanceCasa Linda Tile & Marble Installers, Inc. v. Highlands Place 1981 Ltd., 642 So. 2d 766 (1994) 2 :  a doctrine which permits a party (as a builder) that acted in good faith to recover from the other party to a contract for a performance that departs in minor respects from what was promised — compare material breach at breach

  3. 3 :  a public rendition or presentation of an artistic work

Seen and Heard

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a brief usually trivial fact

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