Definition of perpetrate in English:

perpetrate

Line breaks: per|pet¦rate
Pronunciation: /ˈpəːpɪtreɪt
 
/

verb

[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.
Synonyms
commit, carry out, perform, execute, do, effect, bring about, be guilty of, be to blame for, be responsible for, accomplish, inflict, wreak
informal pull off, pull

Origin

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.

Usage

The words perpetrate and perpetuate are sometimes confused. Perpetrate means ‘commit a harmful, illegal, or immoral action’, as in a crime has been perpetrated against a sovereign state, whereas perpetuate means ‘make something continue indefinitely’, as in a monument to perpetuate the memory of those killed in the war.

Derivatives

perpetration

Pronunciation: /-ˈtreɪʃ(ə)n/
noun
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.

perpetrator

noun
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.

More definitions of perpetrate

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Word of the day erroneous
Pronunciation: ɪˈrəʊnɪəs
adjective
wrong; incorrect