[ pur-pi-treyt ]
See synonyms for: perpetrateperpetratedperpetratingperpetrator on

verb (used with object),per·pe·trat·ed, per·pe·trat·ing.
  1. to commit: to perpetrate a crime.

  2. to present, execute, or do in a poor or tasteless manner: Who perpetrated this so-called comedy?

Origin of perpetrate

First recorded in 1540–50; from Latin perpetrātus (past participle of perpetrāre “to carry out, execute, perform”), equivalent to per- per- + -petr- (combining form of patrāre “to father, bring abou”t; see pater) + -ā- thematic vowel + -tus past participle suffix; see -ate1

Other words from perpetrate

  • per·pe·tra·ble [pur-pi-truh-buhl], /ˈpɜr pɪ trə bəl/, adjective
  • per·pe·tra·tion [pur-pi-trey-shuhn], /ˌpɜr pɪˈtreɪ ʃən/, noun
  • per·pe·tra·tor, noun
  • non·per·pe·tra·tion, noun

Words that may be confused with perpetrate

Words Nearby perpetrate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use perpetrate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for perpetrate


/ (ˈpɜːpɪˌtreɪt) /

  1. (tr) to perform or be responsible for (a deception, crime, etc)

Origin of perpetrate

C16: from Latin perpetrāre, from per- (thoroughly) + patrāre to perform, perhaps from pater father, leader in the performance of sacred rites

usage For perpetrate

Perpetrate and perpetuate are sometimes confused: he must answer for the crimes he has perpetrated (not perpetuated); the book helped to perpetuate (not perpetrate) some of the myths surrounding his early life

Derived forms of perpetrate

  • perpetration, noun
  • perpetrator, 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