1. A person or group having administrative or managerial authority in an organization.
2. The chief officer of a government, state, or political division.
3. The branch of government charged with putting into effect a country's laws and the administering of its functions.
4. Computers A set of coded instructions designed to process and control other coded instructions.
1. Of, relating to, capable of, or suited for carrying out or executing: an advisory body lacking executive powers.
2. Having, characterized by, or relating to administrative or managerial authority: the executive director of a drama troupe; executive experience and skills.
3. Of or relating to the branch of government charged with the execution and administration of the nation's laws.
[Middle English, to be carried out, from Old French exécutif, from executer, to carry out; see EXECUTE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.