adjective \ˈfyü-təl, ˈfyü-ˌtī(-ə)l\

: having no result or effect : pointless or useless

Full Definition of FUTILE

:  serving no useful purpose :  completely ineffective <efforts to convince him were futile>
:  occupied with trifles :  frivolous
fu·tile·ly \-təl-(l)ē, -ˌtī(-ə)l-lē\ adverb
fu·tile·ness \-təl-nəs, -ˌtī(-ə)l-nəs\ noun

Examples of FUTILE

  1. All our efforts proved futile.
  2. a futile and foolish gesture
  3. In a digitized land of national ID cards, dropping out will be impossible, and dreaming about it will be futile. —Walter Kirn, Atlantic, May 2002

Origin of FUTILE

Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin futilis brittle, pointless, probably from fu- (akin to fundere to pour) — more at found
First Known Use: circa 1555

Synonym Discussion of FUTILE

futile, vain, fruitless mean producing no result. futile may connote completeness of failure or unwisdom of undertaking <resistance had proved so futile that surrender was the only choice left>. vain usually implies simple failure to achieve a desired result <a vain attempt to get the car started>. fruitless comes close to vain but often suggests long and arduous effort or severe disappointment <fruitless efforts to obtain a lasting peace>.


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