a musical, dramatic, or other entertainment presented before an audience.
the act of performing a ceremony, play, piece of music, etc.
the execution or accomplishment of work, acts, feats, etc.
a particular action, deed, or proceeding.
an action or proceeding of an unusual or spectacular kind: His temper tantrum was quite a performance.
the act of performing.
the manner in which or the efficiency with which something reacts or fulfills its intended purpose.
Linguistics. the actual use of language in real situations, which may or may not fully reflect a speaker's competence, being subject to such nonlinguistic factors as inattention, distraction, memory lapses, fatigue, or emotional state.
Compare competence ( def 6 ).

1485–95; perform + -ance

misperformance, noun
reperformance, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
performance (pəˈfɔːməns)
1.  the act, process, or art of performing
2.  an artistic or dramatic production: last night's performance was terrible
3.  manner or quality of functioning: a machine's performance
4.  informal mode of conduct or behaviour, esp when distasteful or irregular: what did you mean by that performance at the restaurant?
5.  informal any tiresome procedure: what a performance dressing the children to play in the snow!
6.  any accomplishment
7.  linguistics competence langue Compare parole (in transformational grammar) the form of the human language faculty, viewed as concretely embodied in speakers

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1530s, "carrying out of a promise, duty, etc.," from perform + -ance. Meaning "a thing performed" is from 1590s; that of "action of performing a play, etc." is from 1610s; that of "a public entertainment" is from 1709. Performance art is attested from 1971.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for performances
There have been unofficial reunion performances by the band, however.
This is followed by a number of similar public performances in the region.
These performances in tight situations earned him the nickname of iceman.
The couple made several tv performances with this song in germany.
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