Execute Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Execute, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Execute?

v. 1) to finish, complete or perform as required, as in fulfilling one’s obligations under a contract or a court order. 2) to sign and otherwise complete a document, such as acknowledging the signature if required to make the document valid. 3) to seize property under court order. 4) to put to death pursuant to a sentence rendered by a court.

History and Meaning of Execute

The term "execute" has its origins in Latin, where "exequi" means "to follow to the end" or "to carry out." In legal contexts, the term refers to several actions, including fulfilling one's obligations under a contract or court order, completing and signing a document, seizing property under court order, and putting someone to death pursuant to a sentence rendered by a court.

Examples of Execute

  1. The executive committee of the board voted to execute the company's strategic plan by the end of the year.
  2. The defendant refused to execute the settlement agreement, causing the case to drag on.
  3. The judge ordered the sheriff to execute the writ of possession and remove the tenants from the premises.
  4. The state plans to execute the convicted murderer next week by lethal injection.
  5. The artist executed the painting flawlessly, capturing the essence of the subject in stunning detail.

Legal Terms Similar to Execute

  • Performance: fulfilling one's obligations under a contract or legal agreement;
  • Sign: the act of affixing one's signature to a document to make it valid;
  • Seize: to take possession of property or assets under court order or legal authority;
  • Carry out: to complete or bring to completion, whether it be a task, order or instruction.
  • Put to death: to execute a person who has been sentenced to death by a court of law.