American English

Definition of performance noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] the act of performing a play, concert, or some other form of entertainment The performance starts at seven. an evening performance a performance of Ravel's String Quartet Please refrain from talking during the performance. a series of performances by the Kirov Ballet one of the band's rare live performances Topic CollocationsMusiclistening listen to/enjoy/love/ (informal) be into music/classical music/jazz/pop/hip-hop, etc. listen to the radio/an MP3 player/a CD put on/play a CD/a song/some music turn down/up the music/radio/volume/bass go to a concert/festival/gig/performance/recital copy/burn/rip music/a CD/a DVD download music/an album/a song/a demo/a videoplaying play a musical instrument/the piano/percussion/a note/a riff/the melody/a concerto/a duet/by ear sing an anthem/a ballad/a solo/an aria/the blues/in a choir/soprano/alto/tenor/bass/out of tune hum a tune/a theme song/a lullaby accompany a singer/choir strum a chord/guitarperforming form/start/join/quit/leave a band (informal) get/put a band together give a performance/concert/recital do a concert/recital/gig play a concert/gig/festival/venue perform a concert/(live) in concert appear at a festival/live go on/embark on a (world) tourrecording write/compose music/a ballad/a melody/a tune/a song/a theme song/an opera/a symphony land/get/sign a record deal be signed to/be dropped by a record company record/release/put out an album/a single/a CD be on top of/top the charts get to/go straight to/go straight in at/enter the charts at number one
  2. 2[countable] the way a person performs in a play, concert, etc. She gave the greatest performance of her career. an Oscar-winning performance from Al Pacino
  3. 3[uncountable, countable] how well or badly you do something; how well or badly something works the country's economic performance It was an impressive performance by the French team. The new management techniques aim to improve performance. He criticized the recent poor performance of the company. high-performance (= very powerful) cars performance indicators (= things that show how well or badly something is working) Profits continue to grow, with strong performances in South America and the Far East. Her academic performance has been inconsistent. compare pay-for-performance, performance-related
  4. 4[uncountable, singular] (formal) the act or process of performing a task, an action, etc. She has shown enthusiasm in the performance of her duties. He did not want a repeat performance of the humiliating defeat he had suffered.
  5. 5[singular] (informal) a display of exaggerated behavior or a process involving a great deal of unnecessary time and effort He stopped to tie his shoe and seemed to be making quite a performance of it.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: performance