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[pur-pi-treyt] /ˈpɜr pɪˌtreɪt/
verb (used with object), perpetrated, perpetrating.
to commit:
to perpetrate a crime.
to present, execute, or do in a poor or tasteless manner:
Who perpetrated this so-called comedy?
Origin of perpetrate
1540-50; < Latin perpetrātus (past participle of perpetrāre to carry out, execute, perform), equivalent to per- per- + -petr- (combining form of patrāre to father, bring about; see pater) + -ā- theme vowel + -tus past participle suffix; see -ate1
Related forms
[pur-pi-truh-buh l] /ˈpɜr pɪ trə bəl/ (Show IPA),
perpetration, noun
perpetrator, noun
nonperpetration, noun
unperpetrated, adjective
Can be confused
perpetrate, perpetuate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for perpetration
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The population of a town feels dishonoured by the perpetration of a crime in their midst.

  • I suppose after the perpetration of that act of—what shall we call it?

    Roundabout Papers William Makepeace Thackeray
  • The sacrifice of a right may be as great an evil as the perpetration of a wrong.

    Practical Ethics William DeWitt Hyde
  • What I suffered during its perpetration no word of mine can convey.

    The Forsaken Inn Anna Katharine Green
  • Our feelings are naturally roused against the perpetration of such abuses upon suffering humanity.

    Manuel Pereira F. C. Adams
  • For the perpetration of the most consummate piece of literary scoundrelism on record.

    Audrey Craven May Sinclair
  • It is a confession of sin, but the denial of any guilt in its perpetration.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 3 of 4 American Anti-Slavery Society
  • What interest could I possibly derive from the perpetration of such a crime?

    Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry Etienne Leon Lamothe-Langon
  • The performance of a good action has undoubtedly a tendency to elevate, as the perpetration of a bad one has to demoralise.

    The Coxswain's Bride R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for perpetration


(transitive) to perform or be responsible for (a deception, crime, etc)
Derived Forms
perpetration, noun
perpetrator, noun
Usage note
Perpetrate and perpetuate are sometimes confused: he must answer for the crimes he has perpetrated (not perpetuated); the book helped to perpetuate (not perpetrate) some of the myths surrounding his early life
Word Origin
C16: from Latin perpetrāre, from per- (thoroughly) + patrāre to perform, perhaps from pater father, leader in the performance of sacred rites
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for perpetration

mid-15c., from Late Latin perpetrationem (nominative perpetratio) "an accomplishing, performing," noun of action from past participle stem of perpetrare "to perform, accomplish" (see perpetrate).



1540s, from Latin perpetratus, past participle of perpetrare "to perform, to accomplish," from per- "completely" + patrare "carry out," originally "bring into existence," from pater "father" (see father (n.)). Earlier in English was perpetren, mid-15c., from Old French perpetrer. Neither good nor bad in Latin, first used in English in statutes, hence its sense of "to perform criminally." Related: Perpetrated; perpetrating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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