[ ek-si-kyoot ]
See synonyms for execute on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object),ex·e·cut·ed, ex·e·cut·ing.
  1. to carry out; accomplish: to execute a plan or order.

  2. to perform or do: to execute a maneuver;to execute a gymnastic feat.

  1. to inflict capital punishment on; put to death according to law.

  2. to murder; assassinate.

  3. to produce in accordance with a plan or design: a painting executed by an unknown artist.

  4. to perform or play (a piece of music).

  5. Law.

    • to give effect or force to (a law, decree, judicial sentence, etc.).

    • to carry out the terms of (a will).

    • to transact or carry through (a contract, mortgage, etc.) in the manner prescribed by law; complete and give validity to (a legal instrument) by fulfilling the legal requirements, as by signing or sealing.

  6. Computers. to run (a program or routine) or carry out (an instruction in a program).

verb (used without object),ex·e·cut·ed, ex·e·cut·ing.
  1. to perform or accomplish something, as an assigned task.

  2. Sports. to perform properly the fundamental moves or mechanics of a sport, game, position, or particular play; show smoothness in necessary skills: We just didn't execute defensively.

Origin of execute

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English executen, from Old French executer, from Medieval Latin execūtāre, derivative of Latin execūtus, past participle of ex(s)equī “to follow up, carry out (punishment), execute”; see ex-1, sequence

synonym study For execute

2. See perform. 3. See kill1.

Other words for execute

Other words from execute

  • ex·e·cut·a·ble, adjective
  • ex·e·cut·er, noun
  • non·ex·e·cut·a·ble, adjective
  • out·ex·e·cute, verb (used with object), out·ex·e·cut·ed, out·ex·e·cut·ing.
  • pre·ex·e·cute, verb (used with object), pre·ex·e·cut·ed, pre·ex·e·cut·ing.
  • re·ex·e·cute, verb (used with object), re·ex·e·cut·ed, re·ex·e·cut·ing.
  • un·ex·e·cut·a·ble, adjective
  • un·ex·e·cut·ing, adjective

Words that may be confused with execute

Words Nearby execute

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use execute in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for execute


/ (ˈɛksɪˌkjuːt) /

  1. to put (a condemned person) to death; inflict capital punishment upon

  2. to carry out; complete; perform; do: to execute an order

  1. to perform; accomplish; effect: to execute a pirouette

  2. to make or produce: to execute a drawing

  3. to carry into effect (a judicial sentence, the law, etc); enforce

  4. law to comply with legal formalities in order to render (a deed, etc) effective, as by signing, sealing, and delivering

  5. to sign (a will) in the presence of witnesses and in accordance with other legal formalities

  6. to carry out the terms of (a contract, will, etc)

Origin of execute

C14: from Old French executer, back formation from executeur executor

Derived forms of execute

  • executer, noun

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