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Definition of performance
1an act of presenting a play, concert, or other form of entertainment:Don Giovanni had its first performance in 1787 an act of performing a dramatic role, song, or piece of music:Bailey gives a sound performance as the doctor informal
, chiefly British a display of exaggerated behaviour or a process involving a great deal of unnecessary time and effort; a fuss:he stopped to fasten his shoelace and seemed to be making quite a performance of it
2 [mass noun] the action or process of performing a task or function:the continual performance of a single task reduces a man to the level of a machine a task or operation seen in terms of how successfully it is performed:pay increases are now being linked more closely to performance [count noun]:it was a tremendous all-round performance by Wigan the capabilities of a machine, product, or vehicle:the hardware is put through tests which assess the performance of the processor [as modifier]:a performance car (also linguistic performance) Linguistics an individual’s use of a language, i.e. what a speaker actually says, including hesitations, false starts, and errors. Often contrasted with competence.