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

1400–50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin execūtīvus, equivalent to Latin execūt(us) (past participle of ex(s)equī; see execute) + -īvus -ive
Related formsex·ec·u·tive·ly, adverbex·ec·u·tive·ness, nounnon·ex·ec·u·tive, adjective, nounpro·ex·ec·u·tive, adjectivesem·i·ex·ec·u·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for executively

Historical Examples of executively

  • 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.

  • 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 administrationCompare judiciary, legislature


having the function or purpose of carrying plans, orders, laws, etc, into practical effect
of, relating to, or designed for an executivethe executive suite
informal of the most expensive or exclusive typeexecutive housing; executive class
Derived Formsexecutively, 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

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