(1) To carry out or perform. (2) To put to death legally or formally.
He was aware that he hadn't been hired to think independently but rather simply to execute the governor's policies.
Execute joins ex-, "out," and sec to produce the meaning "follow through" or "carry out." An artist executes (or produces) a painting or sculpture only after having planned it first. A policy or regulation must have been prepared before it can be executed (or put into practice). And a person may be executed (or put to death) by the state only after a death sentence has been issued.