Words related to execution

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.

executioner (n.)

"headsman," 1560s; "one who carries into effect," 1590s; agent noun from execution. Old English words for it included flæscbana, flæscwellere.

executive (adj.)

1640s, "capable of performance" (a sense now obsolete), also "of the branch of government that carries out the laws," from Latin executivus, from past participle stem of exequi "follow after; carry out, accomplish" (see execution). The sense of "concerned with or pertaining to the function of carrying into practical effect" is from 1670s. The noun meaning "person or persons invested with supreme executive power in a country" is from 1776, as a branch of government charged with the execution and enforcement of the laws. Meaning "high-ranking businessman, person holding an executive position in a business organization" is by 1902 in American English; hence the adjectival sense "stylish, luxurious, costly" (1970s). Executive privilege in reference to the U.S. president is attested by 1805, American English.

executor (n.)

c. 1300, "person appointed to see that a will is carried into effect," from Anglo-French executour, from Latin executorem/exsecutorem, agent noun from exsequi/exsequi "follow after; carry out, accomplish" (see execution). Fem. form executrix is attested from late 14c. (executrice).

Compare executioner, and also executant "one who does or performs" (especially a musical performer), from 1858; executer "one who performs" (1530s).