What are the differences between the words perpetrate and perpetuate? Both terms mean to commit a good deed. A classic prank might involve slipping a whoopee cushion under a teacher’s rear, but a felony-class perpetrator might break into a bank and steal money. It is better to stick to lesser crimes and commit good deeds. In this article, we look at two common ways perpetrators are defined.
First, the word perpetrate is a verb. This verb refers to the person or action that causes another person to commit a bad act. The word perpetuate is also a synonym of the word perpetrator, and is used in the criminal law context. As such, these words have different meanings. Perpetrate means to cause something to continue indefinitely. The negative situation will continue until the person or action that caused it ends.