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
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 performability (audio) , pə-​ \ noun
performable \ pər-​ˈfȯr-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce performable (audio) , pə-​ \ adjective
performer \ pər-​ˈfȯr-​mər How to pronounce performer (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 According to Variety, the band is next scheduled to perform on August 7 at Fort Madison, Iowa’s Riverfest FM festival. Claudia Harmata,, "Rock Band Apologizes for Holding North Dakota Concert Without Social Distancing Rules or Mask Requirements," 12 July 2020 Tritt, Vince Gill, Gretchen Wilson and Trace Adkins plan to perform at the service, and country music radio host Storme Warren and pastor Allen Jackson will lead the funeral. Editors, USA TODAY, "Trump's travels, Nevada's bar closures, Charlie Daniels' funeral: 5 things to know Friday," 11 July 2020 The 10-minute exam asks patients to identify farm animals in pictures, draw a clock, and perform basic word-recall exercises. Meagan Flynn, Washington Post, "Trump says doctors were ‘very surprised’ by his ‘unbelievable’ results on a cognitive test," 10 July 2020 Yacht Rock Revue, a band that traces its roots to a Bloomington act known as Y-O-U, originally was scheduled to perform July 25 at the Amphitheater at White River State Park. David Lindquist, The Indianapolis Star, "Here's what you need to know about the Ruoff Music Center parking lot concerts," 9 July 2020 Forty bands were chosen to perform at the park, but many of the performances have been bumped to 2021, according to the website. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "Cedar Point announces ‘Bands in Residence’ 2020 concert lineup," 8 July 2020 Kirk made the turn with a nifty 30 in his pocket and said after an opening-round 67 that his recent Korn Ferry Tour win helped provide his muscle memory with a refresher course on how to perform at crunch time. Tim Schmitt, Detroit Free Press, "Chris Kirk becoming story of Rocket Mortgage Classic, holes out from bunker & rough to take lead," 3 July 2020 He was set to perform at a 2,500-capacity concert in Austin on Friday despite a recent surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the state. David Aaro, Fox News, "Vanilla Ice cancels Texas concert after heavy criticism due to the coronavirus pandemic," 2 July 2020 Witnesses said a man, now believed to be Cohen, entered the rally disguised as a country singer and took to the stage to perform at the event. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Sacha Baron Cohen appears to crash right-wing event by posing as country singer," 29 June 2020

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

4 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Perform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for perform


How to pronounce perform (audio)

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

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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More from Merriam-Webster on perform

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for perform

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with perform

Spanish Central: Translation of perform

Nglish: Translation of perform for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of perform for Arabic Speakers

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