- the act or process of executing.
- the state or fact of being executed.
- the infliction of capital punishment or, formerly, of any legal punishment.
- the process of performing a judgment or sentence of a court: The judge stayed execution of the sentence pending appeal.
- a mode or style of performance; technical skill, as in music: The pianist’s execution of the sonata was consummate.
- effective, usually destructive action, or the result attained by it (usually preceded by do): The grenades did rapid execution.
- Law. a judicial writ directing the enforcement of a judgment.
- Computers. the act of running, or the results of having run, a program or routine, or the performance of an instruction.
- the act or process of executing
- the carrying out or undergoing of a sentence of death
- the style or manner in which something is accomplished or performed; techniqueas a pianist his execution is poor
- the enforcement of the judgment of a court of law
- the writ ordering such enforcement
mid-14c., from Anglo-French execucioun (late 13c.), Old French execucion “a carrying out” (of an order, etc.), from Latin executionem (nominative executio) “an accomplishing,” noun of action from past participle stem of exequi/exsequi “to follow out,” from ex- “out” (see ex-) + sequi “follow” (see sequel).
Sense of “act of putting to death” (mid-14c.) is from Middle English legal phrases such as don execution of deth “carry out a sentence of death.” Literal meaning “action of carrying something into effect” is from late 14c. John McKay, coach of the woeful Tampa Bay Buccaneers (U.S. football team), when asked by a reporter what he thought of his team’s execution, replied, “I think it would be a good idea.” Executor and executioner were formerly used indifferently, because both are carrying out legal orders.