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[ig-zek-yuh-tiv] /ɪgˈzɛk yə tɪv/
a person or group of persons having administrative or supervisory authority in an organization.
the person or persons in whom the supreme executive power of a government is vested.
the executive branch of a government.
of, relating to, or suited for carrying out plans, duties, etc.:
executive ability.
pertaining to or charged with the execution of laws and policies or the administration of public affairs:
executive appointments; executive committees.
designed for, used by, or suitable for executives:
an executive suite.
Origin of executive
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin execūtīvus, equivalent to Latin execūt(us) (past participle of ex(s)equī; see execute) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
executively, adverb
executiveness, noun
nonexecutive, adjective, noun
proexecutive, adjective
semiexecutive, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for executively
Historical Examples
  • executively he is responsible and he is backed by his naval associates.

  • When old Bulow died the business was incorporated by the heirs, and then this fellow shows up with a big say, executively.

    Fighting Byng

    A. Stone
  • Politics, to be executively right, must have a unity of means and time, and a defect in either overthrows the whole.

  • A monarchic form may be executively more efficient than a democratic form; a despotic form may be more efficient than either.

    The Holy Earth L. H. Bailey
  • Nor excommunicate by sentence (but only executively agree to avoid the notoriously impenitent).

    A Christian Directory Baxter Richard
British Dictionary definitions for executively


  1. a person or group responsible for the administration of a project, activity, or business
  2. (as modifier): executive duties, an executive position
  1. the branch of government responsible for carrying out laws, decrees, etc; administration
  2. any administration Compare judiciary, legislature
having the function or purpose of carrying plans, orders, laws, etc, into practical effect
of, relating to, or designed for an executive: the executive suite
(informal) of the most expensive or exclusive type: executive housing, executive class
Derived Forms
executively, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for executively



mid-15c., "performed, carried out;" 1640s, "of the branch of government that carries out the laws," from Middle French executif, from Latin executivus, from past participle stem of exequi (see execution). The noun in this sense is from 1776, as a branch of government. Meaning "businessman" is 1902 in American English. Executive privilege is attested by 1805, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for executively



Stylish; luxurious; costly; posh: executive housing/ executive bus/ executive class (1970s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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