Etymology
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execute (v.)

late 14c. "to carry into effect" (transitive, mostly in law with reference to warrants, sentences, etc.), also "carry out or accomplish a course of action" (intransitive), from Old French executer (14c.), from Medieval Latin executare, from Latin execut-/exsecut-, past participle stem of exequi/exsequi "to follow out, to follow to the grave," figuratively "to follow, follow after, accompany, follow up, prosecute, carry out, enforce; execute, accomplish; punish, avenge," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + sequi "follow" (from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow"). Meaning "to inflict capital punishment" is from late 15c., from earlier legal sense "perform judgment or sentence on" (early 15c.). Related: Executed; executing.

updated on October 14, 2021

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Definitions of execute from WordNet

execute (v.)
kill as a means of socially sanctioned punishment;
In some states, criminals are executed
Synonyms: put to death
execute (v.)
murder in a planned fashion;
The Mafioso who collaborated with the police was executed
execute (v.)
put in effect;
execute the decision of the people
Synonyms: carry through / accomplish / carry out / action / fulfill / fulfil
execute (v.)
carry out the legalities of;
execute a will or a deed
execute (v.)
carry out a process or program, as on a computer or a machine;
the computer executed the instruction
Synonyms: run
execute (v.)
carry out or perform an action;
the skater executed a triple pirouette
Synonyms: perform / do
execute (v.)
sign in the presence of witnesses;
The President executed the treaty
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.