Definition of perpetrate in English:


Syllabification: per·pe·trate
Pronunciation: /ˈpərpəˌtrāt


[with object]
  • Carry out or commit (a harmful, illegal, or immoral action): a crime has been perpetrated against a sovereign state
    More example sentences
    • At some level, if a guy is pathologically committed to perpetrating fraud, you're not going to be able to stop him very often.
    • 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.
    commit, carry out, perform, execute, do, effect, bring about, accomplish; be guilty of, be to blame for, be responsible for, inflict, wreak
    informal pull off
    formal effectuate



Pronunciation: /ˌpərpəˈtrāSHən/
More example sentences
  • Four youths were arrested on criminal charges, including third-degree assault, harassment and perpetration of a hate crime.
  • Instead, the indictment charges him with having planned, ordered, instigated, or assisted in the perpetration of these crimes.
  • To my way of thinking, ‘crime’ is defined as the perpetration of harm upon an ‘innocent’ victim.


Pronunciation: /-ˌtrātər/
More example sentences
  • However, the call proved to be a hoax and the perpetrator remains unknown to the police.
  • They exercise effective command, control, or authority over the perpetrators.
  • The perpetrator must be rooted out and punished for his unacceptable action.


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.


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 .

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