verb (used with object), ex·e·cut·ed, ex·e·cut·ing.

verb (used without object), ex·e·cut·ed, ex·e·cut·ing.

to perform or accomplish something, as an assigned task.
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

1350–1400; Middle English executen < Old French executer < Medieval Latin execūtāre, derivative of Latin execūtus, past participle of ex(s)equī to follow up, carry out (punishment), execute; see ex-1, sequence
Related formsex·e·cut·a·ble, adjectiveex·e·cut·er, nounnon·ex·e·cut·a·ble, adjectiveout·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, adjectiveun·ex·e·cut·ed, adjectiveun·ex·e·cut·ing, adjectivewell-ex·e·cut·ed, adjective

Synonym study

2. See perform. 3. See kill1.

Synonyms for execute

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for well-executed

Contemporary Examples of well-executed

Historical Examples of well-executed

  • It was certainly a daring and well-executed plan on the part of the President.

    The Dreadnought of the Air

    Percy F. Westerman

  • People have said that it is not a real stone, but a well-executed imitation.

    The Woman in the Alcove

    Anna Katharine Green

  • Sniveller, who had been taught the geography of the mansion from a well-executed plan, proceeded to the same door inside.

  • Immediately she despatched to his lordship a messenger, conveying him from the house by a well-executed sally.

  • In the centre, above the entablature, is a group of well-executed winged figures, and beneath is a sculptured pelican.

    Old and New London

    Walter Thornbury

British Dictionary definitions for well-executed


verb (tr)

to put (a condemned person) to death; inflict capital punishment upon
to carry out; complete; perform; doto execute an order
to perform; accomplish; effectto execute a pirouette
to make or produceto execute a drawing
to carry into effect (a judicial sentence, the law, etc); enforce
law to comply with legal formalities in order to render (a deed, etc) effective, as by signing, sealing, and delivering
to sign (a will) in the presence of witnesses and in accordance with other legal formalities
to carry out the terms of (a contract, will, etc)
Derived Formsexecuter, noun

Word Origin for execute

C14: from Old French executer, back formation from executeur executor
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 well-executed



late 14c., "to carry into effect," from Old French executer (14c.), from Medieval Latin executare, from Latin execut-/exsecut-, past participle stem of exequi/exsequi "to follow out" (see execution). Meaning "to inflict capital punishment" is from late 15c. Related: Executed; executing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper