Date: 1300-1400
Language: French
Origin: exécuter, from Latin exsecutus, past participle of exsequi 'to execute', from sequi 'to follow'


ex‧e‧cute [transitive]

kill somebody

to kill someone, especially legally as a punishment
execute somebody for something
Thousands have been executed for political crimes.
13 people were summarily executed (=killed without any trial or legal process) by the guerrillas.
see usage note kill1

do something

formal to do something that has been carefully planned [= implement]:
The job involves drawing up and executing a plan of nursing care.

perform an action

formal to perform a difficult action or movement
beautifully/skilfully/poorly etc executed
The skaters' routine was perfectly executed.


technical if a computer executes a program or command (=instruction), it makes the program or command happen or work

legal document

lawSCLMX to make sure that the instructions in a legal document are followed

produce something

formalAVP to produce a painting, book, film etc:
a boldly executed story

kill, murder, execute, put to death, kill yourself, commit suicide, slaughter, massacre, assassinate
There are many different words meaning to kill someone. Kill is the most general He says he did not mean to kill his wife. Thousands of soldiers were killed in the war.Use murder to talk about deliberately killing someone, especially after planning to do it He is charged with murdering a policeman.When you are talking about killing someone as a punishment for a crime, use execute or put someone to death He was executed by a firing squad. the first person to be put to death in San Quentin jailIf someone deliberately causes their own death, say that they commit suicide or that someone kills himself or herself the feeling of hopelessness that led him to commit suicide, It was not the first time she had tried to kill herself. Slaughter and massacre mean to violently kill a large number of people who cannot defend themselves. These words are used mainly in writing or journalism Hundreds of innocent civilians were slaughtered. Soldiers massacred 900 men, women, and children in the village.Use assassinate to talk about killing an important person, especially a politician J.F.Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963.See also kill

Dictionary results for "execute"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.