Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To be responsible for; commit: perpetrate a crime; perpetrate a practical joke.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To be guilty of, or responsible for a crime etc; to commit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To do or perform; to carry through; to execute, commonly in a bad sense; to commit (as a crime, an offense); to be guilty of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To do execute, or perform; commit: generally in a bad sense: as, to perpetrate a crime.
  • To produce, as something execrable or shocking; perform (something) in an execrable or shocking way: as, to perpetrate a pun.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. perform an act, usually with a negative connotation

Etymologies

Latin perpetrāre, perpetrāt-, to accomplish : per-, per- + patrāre, to bring about (from pater, father; see pəter- in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin perpetratus, past participle of perpetrare ("to carry through"), from per ("through") + patrare ("to perform"), akin to potis ("able"), potens ("powerful"); see potent. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • What a comment on our culture when people "perpetrate" themselves in order to claim victimhod.

    This was totally...

  • I speak not merely of obscurities, to perpetrate which is in every sense to stand in one's own light, but of sheer fatuities, tweakings-of-the-nose to our reverend mother-tongue, as either might have expressed it.

    Without Prejudice

  • Do you actually suggest that one is obliged to imagine all the specific violations that all organizations might perpetrate against them, and then go searching the internet to see if that particular violation has already be found out?

    Verizon Data-Sharing Hysteria Points to Larger Privacy Issues

  • The cyberpunk is usually an outsider * not* of his/her own choosing, but because the structure of society is inherently unfair and favors the rich (who usually have to intentionally buy into or perpetrate the evils of society to get that way, ala the Bush Administration or, well, the 80s, when the genre was at its height.)

    Day in the Life of an Idiot

  • An article in Popular Mechanics suggests some historical absurdities which future authors may attempt to perpetrate on the gullible public.

    March 15th, 2009

  • House of Representatives and pretty much misrepresented her and any resident of his district sociallly to the left of Savanarola while helping to perpetrate the now-classic Reaganite Republican big con of voting for tax cuts for the rich and policies that screwed over the working class residents of his district whose interests, he swore, he was protecting by selling them out.

    Random Thought Number One on The Hoosier Hypocrite

  • When we don't, we either ignore injustice or perpetrate injustice because the victims are not seen as humans, but rather as what Martin Buber called "it."

    Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater: Put A Little Love In Your Heart: Jewish Wisdom For Global Healing

  • Ten years after the scandal erupted, clergy sexual abuse has been reported everywhere from Austria to Australia, and while it remains the case that only a small percentage of Christian clergy perpetrate sexual abuse, the effects of this small number of individuals is felt, at some level, by every Christian and by clergy trying to understand what the scandal means for them as leaders.

    Danielle Tumminio: 10 Years Later: Clergy Response To The Sex Abuse Scandal

  • The lies you try to perpetrate are clear testimony to the vehemence of the condemnation that America deserves for committing that crime, and for reserving the right and means to commit that crime again. shocked at stupidity

    If North Korea is bad… « Antiwar.com Blog

  • They are the places where we live, grow, change, perpetrate our values, desires and dreams.

    Tracey Harnish: Devastation of the American Dream

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.