perpetrate

verb
per·​pe·​trate | \ ˈpər-pə-ˌtrāt How to pronounce perpetrate (audio) \
perpetrated; perpetrating

Definition of perpetrate

transitive verb

1 : to bring about or carry out (something, such as a crime or deception) : commit
2 : to produce, perform, or execute (something likened to a crime) perpetrate a pun

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from perpetrate

perpetration \ ˌpər-​pə-​ˈtrā-​shən How to pronounce perpetration (audio) \ noun
perpetrator \ ˈpər-​pə-​ˌtrā-​tər How to pronounce perpetrator (audio) \ noun

Examples of perpetrate in a Sentence

The men were planning to perpetrate a robbery. The attack was perpetrated by a street gang. He vowed revenge for the crime perpetrated on his family.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

To say that Julie Andrews has been replaced by Emily Blunt would be perpetrating consumer fraud. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Mary Poppins Returns’ Review: Hard Medicine to Swallow," 20 Dec. 2018 The violence was perpetrated by soldiers who shot at protesters, so in what way would election speeches by our leaders incite a soldier to kill? Farai Mutsaka, The Seattle Times, "Zimbabwe inquiry finds army, police killed 6 during protest," 19 Dec. 2018 There is no question in my mind that Al Qaeda perpetrated the 9/11 attacks or about Israel’s right to its sovereignty. Kirsten West Savali, The Root, "Joy-Ann Reid Apologizes For Blog Posts—Again," 2 June 2018 The fallout from the Khashoggi incident has led lawmakers to reexamine the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia, including America’s role in perpetrating a three-year war in Yemen that has spiraled into a devastating humanitarian crisis. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Senate debates resolution to end US support for war in Yemen," 13 Dec. 2018 But the unfortunate reality is that until we as a society can trust people not to perpetrate assaults, sometimes safety measures such as staying together in this kind of situation are necessary. Natasha Lavender, SELF, "What to Do if Your Friend Is Passed Out Drunk," 26 Feb. 2019 Still, when the deadline closed in February, more than 700 representations were submitted, alleging war crimes had been perpetrated against millions of Afghans. Washington Post, "Memory boxes capture Afghans’ pain of war, attempt to heal," 10 Apr. 2018 That characterization of Conditt's actions as the work of a troubled young man angered many, who said violent acts by people of color are treated as terrorism, while those perpetrated by whites are downplayed as a byproduct of troubled minds. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "The police chief has now labeled the Austin bomber a domestic terrorist," 29 Mar. 2018 Massive hacks including those perpetrated by WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden and U.S. Army Private Chelsea Manning have succeeded in penetrating the National Security Agency, the State Department and other government entities. Norman Pearlstine, Time, "In Praise of Leaks," 11 Jan. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of perpetrate

1537, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for perpetrate

Latin perpetratus, past participle of perpetrare, from per- through + patrare to accomplish, from pater father — more at father

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about perpetrate

Statistics for perpetrate

Last Updated

19 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for perpetrate

The first known use of perpetrate was in 1537

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for perpetrate

perpetrate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of perpetrate

formal : to do (something that is illegal or wrong)

perpetrate

verb
per·​pe·​trate | \ ˈpər-pə-ˌtrāt How to pronounce perpetrate (audio) \
perpetrated; perpetrating

Kids Definition of perpetrate

: to bring about or carry out : commit Thieves perpetrated the crime.

Other Words from perpetrate

perpetrator \ ˈpər-​pə-​ˌtrā-​tər \ noun

perpetrate

transitive verb
per·​pe·​trate | \ ˈpər-pə-ˌtrāt How to pronounce perpetrate (audio) \
perpetrated; perpetrating

Legal Definition of perpetrate

: to carry out or bring about (as a crime)

Other Words from perpetrate

perpetration \ ˌpər-​pə-​ˈtrā-​shən How to pronounce perpetration (audio) \ noun
perpetrator \ ˈpər-​pə-​ˌtrā-​tər How to pronounce perpetrator (audio) \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on perpetrate

What made you want to look up perpetrate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!