[ ig-zek-yuh-tiv ]
See synonyms for executive on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person or group of persons having administrative or supervisory authority in an organization.

  2. the person or persons in whom the supreme executive power of a government is vested.

  1. the executive branch of a government.

  1. of, relating to, or suited for carrying out plans, duties, etc.: executive ability.

  2. pertaining to or charged with the execution of laws and policies or the administration of public affairs: executive appointments; executive committees.

  1. designed for, used by, or suitable for executives: an executive suite.

Origin of executive

1400–50; late Middle English <Medieval Latin execūtīvus, equivalent to Latin execūt(us) (past participle of ex(s)equī;see execute) + -īvus-ive

Other words from executive

  • ex·ec·u·tive·ly, adverb
  • ex·ec·u·tive·ness, noun
  • non·ex·ec·u·tive, adjective, noun
  • pro·ex·ec·u·tive, adjective
  • sem·i·ex·ec·u·tive, adjective

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

How to use executive in a sentence

  • In autocratic societies the cohesive force exists in traditions or can at any moment be generated executively.

    The Psychology of Nations | G.E. Partridge
  • 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
  • Politics, to be executively right, must have a unity of means and time, and a defect in either overthrows the whole.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for executive


/ (ɪɡˈzɛkjʊtɪv) /

    • a person or group responsible for the administration of a project, activity, or business

    • (as modifier): executive duties; an executive position

    • the branch of government responsible for carrying out laws, decrees, etc; administration

    • any administration: Compare judiciary, legislature

  1. having the function or purpose of carrying plans, orders, laws, etc, into practical effect

  2. of, relating to, or designed for an executive: the executive suite

  1. informal of the most expensive or exclusive type: executive housing; executive class

Derived forms of executive

  • 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