Definition of executive in English:



  • 1attributive Having the power to put plans, actions, or laws into effect.

    ‘an executive chairman’
    ‘executive authority’
    • ‘Neugebauer continued as editor of Mathematical Reviews until 1945 when a full-time executive editor was appointed.’
    • ‘Stern is now executive vice president of business development.’
    • ‘He has donned varied roles such as executive producer, playwright and screen writer.’
    • ‘He also serves as executive producer, while Tom Cruise is listed among the producers.’
    • ‘The new executive committee has, unlike the old, a majority of his supporters.’
    • ‘Ms. Torres, who was formerly executive chef at Rocking Horse, cooks in a similarly dramatic style.’
    • ‘He is now executive chef at the five-star Outrigger Fiji, running five restaurants and a kitchen team of 75.’
    • ‘EasyJet founder and former executive chairman Stelios Haji-Ioannou planned the acquisition to rapidly grow the airline.’
    • ‘In 1999, several veteran senior managers left, including Martin Neath, formerly executive vice president.’
    • ‘A number of people were unhappy that the executive board got powers which were previously the province of the general committee.’
    • ‘Feller became the first executive editor of Mathematical Reviews which was set up at this time.’
    • ‘He was a full-time executive chairman and permanent secretary.’
    • ‘With Vasquez as executive producer, the series premiered in March 2001 on Nickelodeon.’
    • ‘Managers make key executive decisions about the running of companies and they are answerable to a board of directors.’
    • ‘Currently, the representatives receive a monthly stipend of $400, while executive officers earn $1,250 per month.’
    • ‘Now executive chairman of technology firm Connect Global Solutions, he is on the other side of the fence.’
    • ‘The appointment of the former executive chairman of Aggreko, the power generator rentals company, was well received by analysts.’
    • ‘The new chairman John Brady said that all matters would be considered and worked on by the new executive committee.’
    • ‘He is hinting that he will step back from executive duties and allow other managers to run the show.’
    • ‘The younger officer turned sharply on his heel to lead the new executive officer from the shuttle bay.’
    administrative, decision-making, directorial, directing, controlling, managerial
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    1. 1.1 Relating to managing an organization or political administration and putting into effect plans, policies, or laws.
      ‘the executive branch of government’
      Often contrasted with legislative
      ‘the state has various executive functions’
      • ‘From the Council of State is chosen the Council of Ministers, who have direct administrative responsibility for the executive departments.’
      • ‘The executive responsibility lies with him, and with his relevant offices.’
      • ‘The EU does not have separate legislative and executive branches to speak of.’
      • ‘There are also significant structural impediments to presidential control of the executive branch of government.’
      • ‘In general, the government's ability to conduct surveillance on Americans has been expanded, and checks and balances on executive power have been reduced.’
      • ‘The new cabinet, though it lacks experience of executive power, has obviously learned the old knacks of governing.’
      • ‘The result was a federal government in which Republicans control both the executive and legislative branches.’
      • ‘It would involve a flagrantly illegal and unconstitutional intervention by the executive branch into the affairs of the legislature.’
      • ‘South Korea's government has an elected legislature and a strong executive branch.’
      • ‘It is a disgrace in political terms, because it calls into contempt the very idea of political and executive accountability.’
      • ‘The Cabinet and its members fuse political and executive functions.’
      • ‘He accepted that his plan for control orders was a substantial increase in the executive powers of the state.’
      • ‘The new ministers left contradictory feelings behind them after their first public appearances as representatives of the executive power.’
      • ‘The adoption of a budget is the principal means by which Congress holds the executive branch to account.’
      • ‘During that period fifteen different and greatly distinguished citizens have, in succession, administered the executive branch of the government.’
      • ‘But with few executive powers proposed for the assemblies, the Deputy PM has been accused by the Tories of offering little more than expensive talking shops.’
      • ‘Hayes asserted executive power through his appointments and in general upheld the authority of the presidency.’
      • ‘The company now faces antitrust investigation by the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union.’
      • ‘At such a time, the attempt to apportion blame and responsibility between the political and executive levels of government becomes artificial and obsolete.’
      • ‘In the coming months and years, the locus of political struggle will lie between the executive branch and the legislature.’


  • 1A person with senior managerial responsibility in a business organization.

    • ‘If you're the chief executive or managing director of a small or medium-sized company, have you asked your IT guy this specific question?’
    • ‘Lord Marshall, the airline's chairman, will be acting chief executive until a successor is found.’
    • ‘He must be the only chief executive of a public limited company in Ireland to sit in open plan space.’
    • ‘Investigators staged dawn raids on the homes and offices of senior executives.’
    • ‘According to one industry marketing executive, several people said that they weren't going to attend both shows.’
    • ‘He should hold junk food and advertising executives accountable for their role in promoting obesity and disease throughout the globe.’
    • ‘Cliff's experiences are echoed by the wife of a former senior executive at a hi-tech firm.’
    • ‘In my case, as a professional, my mothering instincts overcame my desire to become a high-flying business executive.’
    • ‘Trafford council has now appointed an interim chief executive.’
    • ‘Did the chief executive ask the senior manager whether such cash payments had been received?’
    • ‘Every once in a while, top corporate executives are actually made to pay for doing something not so smart.’
    • ‘A noted local business executive with significant retail responsibility once told me that he does not exhibit.’
    • ‘Upon completion, trainees are relocated based on business needs and become either account executives or operation managers.’
    • ‘As for Dudley, the 33-year-old is an executive with Artistic Control Management.’
    • ‘Her first job will be to appoint a chief executive of the trust.’
    • ‘A senior pharmaceutical company executive says estimates of the prevalence of diseases are often exaggerated.’
    • ‘As a customer, you know more about the way many businesses work than the executives and managers running them.’
    • ‘Usually you will need to get access through top management/senior executives.’
    • ‘Look at the structure of the typical senior executive's share option scheme.’
    • ‘Ultimately the power to take action resides with senior managers and particularly the chief executive.’
    chief, head, principal, senior official, senior manager, senior administrator
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    1. 1.1as modifier Suitable or appropriate for a senior business executive.
      ‘an executive jet’
      ‘the executive suite’
      • ‘Black had two executive jets to whisk him to homes and hotels in New York, Toronto, Tel Aviv or Palm Beach.’
      • ‘It was February, and I'd driven from Derbyshire down to Heathrow to catch the IBM executive jet.’
      • ‘His Gulfstream executive jet keeps it company in the parking lot at his house.’
      • ‘A new business executive aviation terminal will be built offering first class facilities for business and general aviation.’
      • ‘Plans for apartments, executive homes and a woodland visitor centre have been put forward by developers.’
      • ‘And it is this figure that should provide the link between business performance and executive compensation.’
      • ‘A few women have pushed their way into the boardrooms and executive suites of big companies.’
      • ‘This cult of violent revolution is not limited to creative types; it reaches into avant-garde executive suites.’
      • ‘He argued that yes, executive salaries are exorbitant but you have to pay what someone would get in America, otherwise you're not going to get them or keep them.’
      • ‘The company announced a plan to limit executive severance pay.’
      • ‘Within hours of the court's announcement, the child was on a Lear executive jet back to Cuba with his father, who lives there.’
      • ‘And most would start to prepare by polishing up their CV and renewing their contacts with executive recruitment companies.’
      • ‘Having been pushed so far back as to be deprived of his place in the company's executive suite, he vowed to return to his entrepreneurial roots.’
      • ‘It is planning to buy an executive box for next season which it would use to host guests from businesses and schools and showcase what the club has to offer.’
      • ‘A millionaire who failed to save a wallpaper factory is planning to build an executive housing estate on the site.’
      • ‘Further work will include a refurbished lecture theatre and new executive suite.’
      • ‘There's not much similarity in the systems required to run say an executive pension plan and a retail with-profits bond.’
      • ‘Eighteen executive bedroom suites have been included ready for this new year.’
      • ‘Instead, because of the financial plight of the club after relegation, Mr Tueart was allowed by the ex-chairman to use an executive box.’
      • ‘The Pentagon will lease six Gulfstream V executive jets so the big shots can fly high.’
    2. 1.2 An executive committee or other body within an organization.
      ‘the union executive’
      • ‘It is thought likely that the council will consider the matter through one of its scrutiny committees or through its executive.’
      • ‘This final provocation let the central executive to proscribe the committee on 21 September 1956.’
      • ‘The union's executive decided this week to delay calling strikes until after further meetings with the companies on Friday.’
      • ‘St Angela's College has a union executive of six elected members who work part-time, and don't get paid, unlike other institutes.’
      • ‘But he added that there was still ‘some distance’ from any proposed deal he could recommend to his union executive.’
      • ‘Mr Brown, who has been suspended from his job of general secretary, said he would defend all the charges put to him by the executive of the union.’
      • ‘The union executive meets today ahead of a recalled national conference in Brighton next week which could endorse fresh walkouts.’
      • ‘The education and library service scrutiny committee has urged the executive to scrap the idea as a waste of resources.’
      • ‘True, he served on the executive of the 1922 committee until the election and has voted consistently against the extension of gay rights.’
      • ‘Previously the Labour manifesto was agreed solely by the national executive and parliamentary committee.’
      • ‘Far-Left NUT members will tomorrow try to commit their executive to urging other teacher unions to ballot their members on a boycott.’
      • ‘A left wing national executive have just been elected to run the union.’
      • ‘Public unity within the DUP executive is holding - but only by a fingernail.’
      • ‘At one university, the top facility executive is on good terms with top managers and with deans.’
      • ‘The county executive meets within the week to consider the situation, with power to make a nomination of its own.’
      • ‘The plans, including financial and legal aspects, will be put before the council's ruling executive on Tuesday.’
      • ‘This is Cllr Lacey's first time on the executive, a body which is charged with the administration of all aspects of party business.’
      • ‘She also paid tribute to everyone who contributed to the day to day running of the club, the executive, committee, trainers, parents and players.’
      • ‘The union executive spent the weekend consulting local officials and individual firemen and women to gauge their mood.’
      • ‘The managing directors of the subsidiary organizations felt that the management executive would never see it their way, and would continue to cut their budgets.’
      administration, leadership, management, directorate, directors
      View synonyms
  • 2the executiveThe person or branch of a government responsible for putting policies or laws into effect.

    • ‘The data is extremely thin, and there's generally too many things going on to isolate the effect of the executive.’
    • ‘Of course, a handful of formal consultative processes will not democratize policy formation within the executive.’
    • ‘For example, responsible government requires that the executive be responsible to parliament.’
    • ‘With the official Opposition almost impotent, the country needs strong, Labour-led committees to keep the executive to account.’
    • ‘If we look at what this bill is to do, we see that it will allow by Order in Council the executive to make the decisions about merging.’
    • ‘This is a legitimate dispute between the executive and the legislative branch of government.’
    • ‘It is a federalist constitution which recognizes three branches of government: the executive, legislative, and judicial.’
    • ‘Splitting the executive between a weak president and a prime minister has a better chance of sustaining democracy in the country.’
    • ‘Judges hardly interfered with decisions of the executive, and the judiciary and the government had a cozy relationship.’
    • ‘One reliable political insider said he fully expected the executive to collapse within days but that it was going to happen anyway in January.’
    • ‘It reviews the decision of the executive to see if it was permitted by law - in this instance the Human Rights Act.’
    • ‘It will simply be the Minister and the executive by Order in Council, and I am concerned about that.’
    • ‘There is more to a healthy economy and democracy than purging the executive, the legislature and local councils and governments every electoral cycle.’
    • ‘The Scottish executive said it remained committed to the policy.’
    • ‘The Government, the executive, is meant to bring a bill to the Parliament.’
    • ‘The basic objection to the form of pre-charter borough governments was that the executive was responsible to the king rather than to the community.’
    • ‘They can also make submissions on the operations of the executive through these parliamentary committees.’
    • ‘The point is that he is a member of the executive - a Cabinet Minister - and he is bound by collective responsibility.’
    • ‘It has been accused on several occasions of trying to become a kind of shadow cabinet that would influence the decisions of the executive.’
    • ‘We are taught that there are three arms of government - the executive, the legislature and the judiciary - but it is useful to remember a fourth.’


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin executivus, from exsequi (see execute).