tr.v. ex·e·cut·ed, ex·e·cut·ing, ex·e·cutes
1. To put into effect; carry out: a government that executes the decisions of the ruling party.
2. To perform; do: execute a U-turn. See Synonyms at perform.
3. To create (a work of art, for example) in accordance with a prescribed design.
4. To make valid, as by signing: execute a deed.
5. To perform or carry out what is required by: execute the terms of a will.
6. To put to death, especially by carrying out a lawful sentence.
7. Computers To run (a program or instruction).
[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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.