late 15c., "accomplishment, completion" (of something), from perform + -ance. Meaning "that which is accomplished, a thing performed" is from 1590s; that of "action of performing a play, etc." is from 1610s; that of "a public entertainment" is from 1709. The earlier noun in Middle English was performing (late 14c.) "state of completion, accomplishment of an act." Performance art is attested from 1971.
mid-15c., perpetracioun, "act of perpetrating; that which is perpetrated," from Late Latin perpetrationem (nominative perpetratio) "an accomplishing, performing," noun of action from past participle stem of perpetrare "to perform, accomplish" (see perpetrate).
1640s, "prescribed manner of performing religious worship," from ritual (adj.). From 1650s as "book containing the rites or ordinances of a church," also "the external forms of religious or other devotional exercises," often in that sense somewhat pejorative (mere ritual, forgetful of meaning).
mid-15c., "a monkey," also "an impertinent, conceited fellow, an absurd fop," a general term of reproach (in mid-15c. especially a contemptuous nickname for William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk), of unknown origin. Apparently from Jack of Naples, but whether this is some specific personification of Jack (which is attested from 16c. as "saucy or impertinent fellow") or folk etymology of jack (n.) + ape (n.) is unknown. See extensive note in OED. Century Dictionary suggests "orig., it is supposed, a man who exhibited performing apes." Farmer and Henley ("Slang and Its Analogues") say "originally, no doubt, a gaudy-suited and performing ape." Its fem. counterpart is Jane-of-apes (Massinger) "a pert, forward girl."
"one who conducts a religious service, one who administers a sacrament," 1836, from noun use of Medieval Latin officiantem (nominative officians) "performing religious services," present participle of officiare "to perform religious services," from Latin officium "a service; an official duty; ceremonial observance" (in Medieval Latin, "church service"); see office.