Definition of perpetrate in English:



  • Carry out or commit (a harmful, illegal, or immoral action)

    ‘a crime has been perpetrated against a sovereign state’
    • ‘I can't be certain whether these guys are perpetrating a scam of some sort.’
    • ‘The person who perpetrates the crime is referred to as the principal.’
    • ‘Why do these criminals feel they can perpetrate such horrendous crimes and get away with it?’
    • ‘Violent suppression and opinion monopoly are used by all totalitarian political systems for the purpose of perpetrating their immoral rule.’
    • ‘This was a blatant act of vandalism perpetrated by an individual or group as a deliberate act.’
    • ‘Moreover, in perpetrating these acts of murder and destruction they believe they are executing the divine will.’
    • ‘We are united in our stand to bring to justice those that perpetrated such a horrendous act of murder.’
    • ‘Figuring out why an adult perpetrates such acts will always remain a psychiatrist's delight.’
    • ‘Whoever perpetrated these acts has to be prepared to pay for the lives they have so arbitrarily taken.’
    • ‘I will go back to the issue that I raised earlier that the people who perpetrate these acts are vicious criminals.’
    • ‘It had been one thing to lay shame on those perpetrating a crime while simultaneously garnering a just verdict.’
    • ‘Spamming is also being used to perpetrate criminal acts.’
    • ‘In many cases, they end up as child soldiers, programmed at a young age to perpetrate violence and acts of terrorism.’
    • ‘However, the people and governments perpetrating these crimes against humanity deserve no mercy.’
    • ‘There have also been cases in which people have recalled perpetrating crimes of which they were innocent.’
    • ‘That doesn't say it all, but it's a message worth sending to the people most directly responsible for perpetrating this despicable act of aggression.’
    • ‘At some level, if a guy is pathologically committed to perpetrating fraud, you're not going to be able to stop him very often.’
    • ‘As long as you're not perpetrating a criminal act upon someone, you ought to be free to do whatever you like.’
    • ‘Why should anyone waste their ingenuity perpetrating such vandalism?’
    • ‘Dictators still oppress many hundreds of millions of people, and are still perpetrating genocide and promoting terrorism.’
    commit, carry out, perform, execute, do, effect, bring about, be guilty of, be to blame for, be responsible for, accomplish, inflict, wreak
    pull off, pull
    View synonyms


To perpetrate something is to commit it: the gang perpetrated outrages against several citizens. To perpetuate something is to cause it to continue or to keep happening: the stories only serve to perpetuate the legend that the house is haunted


Mid 16th century: from Latin perpetrat- performed from the verb perpetrare, from per- to completion + patrare bring about In Latin the act perpetrated might be good or bad; in English the verb was first used in the statutes referring to crime, hence the negative association.