per·​form | \ pər-ˈfȯrm How to pronounce perform (audio) , pə- \
performed; performing; performs

Definition of perform

transitive verb

1 : to adhere to the terms of : fulfill perform a contract
2 : carry out, do
3a : to do in a formal manner or according to prescribed ritual
b : to give a rendition of : present

intransitive verb

1 : to carry out an action or pattern of behavior : act, function
2 : to give a performance : play

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Other Words from perform

performability \ pər-​ˌfȯr-​mə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce perform (audio) , pə-​ \ noun
performable \ pər-​ˈfȯr-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce perform (audio) , pə-​ \ adjective
performer \ pər-​ˈfȯr-​mər How to pronounce perform (audio) , pə-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of perform in a Sentence

The doctor had to perform surgery immediately. The magician performed some amazing tricks. The gymnasts performed their routines perfectly. You are required to perform 50 hours of community service. The band will be performing on the main stage. She's a wonderful singer who loves to perform before a live audience. The band will perform songs from their new album. The class performed the play for the school.
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Recent Examples on the Web Other ideas involve using rotorcraft to perform surveys of exposed water ice on regions of the Martian surface inaccessible to rovers. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "First in Flight: NASA Just Proved Flying on Mars Is Possible--Next Up Is the Solar System," 8 May 2021 According to the police statement, the firefighters began to perform CPR on Ventre in the ambulance and transported him to Rhode Island Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:41 a.m., "Man dies after brief struggle with police in Providence, investigation underway," 7 May 2021 The Treasury secretary is responsible for appointing up to four deputy comptrollers and designating one as the first deputy comptroller with the power to perform the duties of the comptroller on an acting basis if the comptroller's job is vacant. Martin Crutsinger, Star Tribune, "Yellen picks top Fed banking regulator as acting comptroller," 7 May 2021 Is the sight of me rushing to Disneyland supposed to perform some Jedi mind trick on people who think the vaccine is another attempt by Big Pharma to give them cancer that will require expensive drug treatments? Los Angeles Times, "Column: You know what’s not rational? Telling people how to act while vaccinated," 7 May 2021 Artists and bands are able to perform on Scotty’s stage, a mainstay in Finnegan’s named after a frequent customer who died two years ago, Porter said. Hannah Reed,, "Venues across NW Indiana return to live shows as COVID-19 restrictions lift: ‘I was just glad to be out’," 6 May 2021 Only 17 graduates were in attendance with 11 mentors and a few other staff members to perform the ceremonies in a ballroom on the Tempe campus on Tuesday. Nienke Onneweer, The Arizona Republic, "Inside the small, alternative graduation ceremonies ASU is hosting for spring graduates," 6 May 2021 Monoliths are deployed all at once; every time the code changes, developers have to perform regression testing on the entire application to make sure the modifications didn't break existing functionality. Gregory Webb, Forbes, "Securing The Keys To The Kingdom: Automating CLM For Container-Based Applications," 6 May 2021 Willow Smith pulled off a top-secret Mother's Day surprise for Jada Pinkett Smith by getting her mom's metal band back together to perform on the latest Red Table Talk episode. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Willow Smith Reunites Mom Jada's Old Metal Band for Sick Mother's Day Surprise," 5 May 2021

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.

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First Known Use of perform

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for perform

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

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Time Traveler for perform

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for perform

Last Updated

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Perform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for perform



English Language Learners Definition of perform

: 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


per·​form | \ pər-ˈfȯrm How to pronounce perform (audio) \
performed; performing

Kids Definition of perform

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

Other Words from perform

performer noun


transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

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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