Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To put into effect; carry out: a government that executes the decisions of the ruling party.
  • transitive v. To perform; do: execute a U-turn. See Synonyms at perform.
  • transitive v. To create (a work of art, for example) in accordance with a prescribed design.
  • transitive v. To make valid, as by signing: execute a deed.
  • transitive v. To perform or carry out what is required by: execute the terms of a will.
  • transitive v. To put to death, especially by carrying out a lawful sentence.
  • transitive v. Computer Science To run (a program or an instruction).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To kill as punishment for capital crimes.
  • v. To carry out; to put into effect.
  • v. To begin putting into effect.
  • v. To cause to become legally valid; as, to execute a contract.
  • v. To start, launch or run; as, to execute a program.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To follow out or through to the end; to carry out into complete effect; to complete; to finish; to effect; to perform.
  • transitive v. To complete, as a legal instrument; to perform what is required to give validity to, as by signing and perhaps sealing and delivering
  • transitive v. To give effect to; to do what is provided or required by; to perform the requirements or stipulations of.
  • transitive v. To infect capital punishment on; to put to death in conformity to a legal sentence.
  • transitive v. To put to death illegally; to kill.
  • transitive v. To perform, as a piece of music or other feat of skill, whether on an instrument or with the voice, or in any other manner requiring physical activity.
  • intransitive v. To do one's work; to act one's part or purpose.
  • intransitive v. To perform musically.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To follow out or through to the end; perform completely, as something projected, prescribed, or ordered; carry into complete effect; accomplish: as, to execute a purpose, plan, design, or scheme.
  • To perform or do: as, to execute a difficult gymnastic feat; to execute a piece of music.
  • In law: To complete and give validity to, as a legal instrument, by performing whatever is required by law to be done, as by signing and sealing, attestation, authentication, etc.: as, to execute a deed or lease.
  • To perform or carry out fully, as the conditions of a deed, contract, etc.
  • To give effect to; put in force; enforce; as, to execute law or justice; to execute a writ; to execute judgment or vengeance.
  • To perform judgment or sentence on; specifically, to inflict capital punishment on; put to death in accordance with law or the sentence of a court: as, to execute a traitor.
  • Hence To put to death; kill; do to death.
  • To carry out or accomplish a course of action, a purpose, or a plan; produce an effect or result aimed at.
  • To perform a piece of music: as, he executes well.
  • Executed; accomplished.

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

  • v. carry out a process or program, as on a computer or a machine
  • v. murder in a planned fashion
  • v. sign in the presence of witnesses
  • v. carry out or perform an action
  • v. put in effect
  • v. kill as a means of socially sanctioned punishment
  • v. carry out the legalities of

Etymologies

Middle English executen, from Old French executer, from Medieval Latin execūtāre, from Latin execūtor, executor, from execūtus, past participle of exequī, exsequī, to pursue, carry out : ex-, ex- + sequī, to follow; see sekw-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin exsecutus, past participle of exsequor, from ex- ("out") + sequor ("to follow"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • *headdesk*

    June 20, 2009

  • "Let's get executed" !? Umm, suicidal much?

    June 20, 2009

  • Actual quote from an email at work yesterday:

    "Let's get executed."

    The person, of course, meant "let us execute the plan we have discussed" but I can't help but think there is something under the surface. Oh, the quiet desperation of CUBE LIFE.

    June 20, 2009

  • Contronymic in the sense of create vs. destroy.

    January 9, 2007