Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act of performing or the state of being performed.
  • n. The act or style of performing a work or role before an audience.
  • n. The way in which someone or something functions: The pilot rated the airplane's performance in high winds.
  • n. A presentation, especially a theatrical one, before an audience.
  • n. Something performed; an accomplishment.
  • n. Linguistics One's actual use of language in actual situations.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of performing; carrying into execution or action; execution; achievement; accomplishment; representation by action; as, the performance of an undertaking of a duty.
  • n. That which is performed or accomplished; a thing done or carried through; an achievement; a deed; an act; a feat; especially, an action of an elaborate or public character.
  • n. A live show or concert.
  • n. The amount of useful work accomplished by a computer system compared to the time and resources used. Better Performance means more work accomplished in shorter time and/or using less resources

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of performing; the carrying into execution or action; execution; achievement; accomplishment; representation by action.
  • n. That which is performed or accomplished; a thing done or carried through; an achievement; a deed; an act; a feat; esp., an action of an elaborate or public character.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of performing or the condition of being performed; execution or completion of anything; a doing: as, the performance of works or of an undertaking; the performance of duty.
  • n. That which is performed or accomplished; action; deed; thing done; a piece of work.
  • n. A musical, dramatic, or other entertainment; the acting of a play, execution of vocal or instrumental music, exhibition of skill, etc., especially at a place of amusement.
  • n. Synonyms Accomplishment, achievement, consummation. See perform.
  • n. Exploit, feat.
  • n. Production.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the act of presenting a play or a piece of music or other entertainment
  • n. any recognized accomplishment
  • n. the act of performing; of doing something successfully; using knowledge as distinguished from merely possessing it
  • n. a dramatic or musical entertainment
  • n. process or manner of functioning or operating

Etymologies

From perform + -ance (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • "'How do you feel?' asked the stage manager.

    I looked at her and tried to concentrate.

    How did I feel? I felt the way I always felt before a performance: like I was about to be executed; like I was a fraud; like I was that infinitely compressed point, just before the big bang."
    —Glenn Kurtz, Practicing: A Musician's Return to Music (New York: Vintage Books, 2007), 95

    I was absolutely struck by how true this statement is. He's described that feeling to a perfect T of being just about to go onstage.

    November 3, 2008