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From Middle English performen, parfournen (to perform), from Anglo-Norman performer, parfourmer, alteration of Old French parfornir, parfurnir (to complete, accomplish, perform), from par- + fornir, furnir (to accomplish, furnish), from Frankish *frumjan (to accomplish, furnish), from Proto-Germanic *frumjaną, *framjaną (to further, promote, accomplish, furnish, carry out), from Proto-Indo-European *promo- (in front, forth), *per- (forward, out). Cognate with Old High German frummen (to do, execute, accomplish, provide), Old Saxon frummian (to perform, promote), Old English fremman (to perform, execute, carry out, accomplish), Gothic 𐍆𐍂𐌿𐌼𐌾𐌰𐌽 (frumjan, to promote, accomplish). See also frame, from.



perform (third-person singular simple present performs, present participle performing, simple past and past participle performed)

  1. To do something; to execute.
    • 2013 July-August, Lee S. Langston, “The Adaptable Gas Turbine”, in American Scientist:
      Turbines have been around for a long time—windmills and water wheels are early examples. The name comes from the Latin turbo, meaning vortex, and thus the defining property of a turbine is that a fluid or gas turns the blades of a rotor, which is attached to a shaft that can perform useful work.
    The scientists performed several experiments.
    It took him only twenty minutes to perform the task.
  2. To do something in front of an audience, often in order to entertain it.
    She will perform in the play.
    The magician performed badly – none of his tricks worked.
    The string quartet performed three pieces by Haydn.
    • Shakespeare
      Perform a part thou hast not done before.

Derived terms[edit]


to be checked

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Further reading[edit]