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

  • n. A person or group having administrative or managerial authority in an organization.
  • n. The chief officer of a government, state, or political division.
  • n. The branch of government charged with putting into effect a country's laws and the administering of its functions.
  • n. Computer Science A set of coded instructions designed to process and control other coded instructions.
  • adj. Of, relating to, capable of, or suited for carrying out or executing: an advisory body lacking executive powers.
  • adj. Having, characterized by, or relating to administrative or managerial authority: the executive director of a drama troupe; executive experience and skills.
  • adj. Of or relating to the branch of government charged with the execution and administration of the nation's laws.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Designed or fitted for execution, or carrying into effect.
  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or having responsibility for the day-to-day running of an organisation, business, country, etc.; as, an executive act, an executive officer, executive government.
  • n. A title of a chief officer or administrator, especially one who can make significant decisions on her/his own authority.
  • n. That branch of government which is responsible for enforcing laws and judicial decisions, and for the day-to-day administration of the state.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Designed or fitted for execution, or carrying into effect; ; qualifying for, concerned with, or pertaining to, the execution of the laws or the conduct of affairs
  • adj. of or pertaining to an executive{2} or to the group of executives within an organization.
  • n. An impersonal title of the chief magistrate or officer who administers the government, whether king, president, or governor; the governing person or body.
  • n. a person who has administrative authority over an organization or division of an organization; a manager, supervisor or administrator at a high level within an organization

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Concerned with or pertaining to executing, performing, or carrying into effect: specifically applied to that branch of government which is intrusted with the execution of the laws, as distinguished from the legislative and judicial.
  • Suited for executing or carrying into effect; of the kind requisite for practical performance or direction: as, executive ability.
  • n. That branch of a government to which the execution of the laws is intrusted; an officer of a government, or an official body, charged with the execution and enforcement of the laws. The executive may be a king, emperor, president, council, or other magistrate or body.

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

  • n. someone who manages a government agency or department
  • n. persons who administer the law
  • n. a person responsible for the administration of a business
  • adj. having the function of carrying out plans or orders etc.


Middle English, to be carried out, from Old French exécutif, from executer, to carry out; see execute.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French executif. (Wiktionary)



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