General English

  • verb to do something that has been planned or agreed



  • To carry out, or put into effect, especially according to a given set of requirements.
  • To run a computer program. Also, to carry out other computer processes, such as commands.


  • verb to carry out (the terms of a contract)
  • verb to kill someone who has been sentenced to death by a court


  • verb to kill a person who has been found guilty of an offence for which the punishment is death
  • verb to carry out a planned task


  • verb to carry out a decision, plan or order

Origin & History of “execute”

The original meaning of execute in English was ‘carry out’, but the sense ‘kill judicially’ had already developed by the end of the 15th century (it comes from the notion of ‘carrying out’ a sentence). The word comes via Old French executer from medieval Latin executāre, a derivative of Latin exsequī. this, a compound formed from the intensive prefix ex- and sequī ‘follow’ (source of English consecutive, consequent, obsequious, sequence, subsequent, etc), meant originally ‘follow to the end, pursue’, and hence ‘follow through, carry out, fulfil’. Its derivative exsequiās ‘funeral procession’ produced English exequies (14th c.).