exercise

noun
ex·​er·​cise | \ ˈek-sər-ˌsīz How to pronounce exercise (audio) \

Definition of exercise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the act of bringing into play or realizing in action : use the exercise of self-control
b : the discharge of an official function or professional occupation exercise of his judicial duties
c : the act or an instance of carrying out the terms of an agreement (such as an option) often used attributively an option's exercise price
2a : regular or repeated use of a faculty or bodily organ
b : bodily exertion for the sake of developing and maintaining physical fitness trying to get more exercise
3 : something performed or practiced in order to develop, improve, or display a specific capability or skill arithmetic exercises vocal exercises
4 : a performance or activity having a strongly marked secondary or ulterior aspect party politics has always been an exercise in compromise— H. S. Ashmore
5a : a maneuver, operation, or drill carried out for training and discipline naval exercises
b exercises plural : a program including speeches, announcements of awards and honors, and various traditional practices of secular or religious character commencement exercises

exercise

verb
exercised; exercising

Definition of exercise (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to make effective in action : use didn't exercise good judgment
b : to bring to bear : exert exercise influence
c : to implement the terms of exercise an option
2a : to use repeatedly in order to strengthen or develop exercise a muscle
b : to train by drills and maneuvers exercise troops
c : to put through exercises exercise the horses
3a : to engage the attention and effort of
b : to cause anxiety, alarm, or indignation in the issues exercising voters this year

intransitive verb

: to take exercise

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Other Words from exercise

Verb

exercisable \ ˈek-​sər-​ˌsī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce exercisable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for exercise

Synonyms: Noun

activity, conditioning, exertion

Synonyms: Verb

apply, exert, ply, put out, wield

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Examples of exercise in a Sentence

Noun

Get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Swimming is my favorite kind of exercise. She did stretching exercises before her daily run. Do the writing exercise at the end of each chapter. The negotiations have gotten nowhere, and I see no reason to continue with this pointless exercise.

Verb

It's important to exercise every day. He eats right and exercises regularly. Bicycle riding exercises the leg muscles. The stable boys exercise the horses every morning. He didn't exercise good judgment. We just need to exercise common sense. She has been reluctant to exercise her authority. Exercise caution when using these chemicals.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Such initiatives represent more decentralized and thoroughly democratic examples of the kind of exercises in monetary might long employed by wealthy individuals to change the world around them. John Paul Rollert, Fortune, "The Wayfair Walkout and the Rise of Activist Capitalism," 13 July 2019 My main gripe was that cycling had always seemed like an inefficient form of exercise. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "I Didn't Think I Liked Cycling—Until I Went on an Epic 239-Mile Trip," 11 July 2019 All-Star Game The whole point of this annual exercise isn't to predict which team will win the game. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Simulated All-Star Game: Matt Chapman propels American League to walk-off win," 9 July 2019 Indoors, the spa has begun 30-minute full-body workouts on Da Vinci boards, each outfitted with resistance bands to customize a variety of exercises. Connie Dufner, Dallas News, "Time to spa-tify: Wind down in style at Miraval Austin," 8 July 2019 While most workers deliver using a bicycle or scooter, seniors in search of exercise are doing it on foot, Khosrowshahi said. Bloomberg, The Mercury News, "Grannies in running shoes are delivering ramen for Uber in Japan," 5 July 2019 After completion, the group rotated so everyone experienced each part of the exercise. Fox News, "Fly off to Mars at Kennedy Space Center’s Astronaut Training Experience," 5 July 2019 The Rec Center there is swapping out equipment, adding new machines, and generally making my job of finding new forms of exercise easier all the time. Zachary Lewis, cleveland.com, "’Glute Drive’ dashes first impressions, builds deep strength: Stretching Out," 3 July 2019 This was the closing ceremony of an exercise in helping teens grow in leadership, communication and creativity. Jane Stueckemann, Houston Chronicle, "Live It Out camp closes out third year of ‘teens helping teens’," 21 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Caution should also be exercised with other supplements and herbs that claim to increase dream lucidity—they are not backed by scientific evidence and, as with all drugs, there is the risk of allergic reactions and side-effects. Achilleas Pavlou, Quartz, "A lucid dream researcher’s tips for controlling your dreams," 29 June 2019 Toronto Raptors center Marc Gasol is exercising his $25.6M player option for next season, returning to the defending NBA champions, league sources tell ESPN. Tim Bielik, cleveland.com, "Marc Gasol exercises player option to stay with Toronto Raptors: Report," 26 June 2019 Redfield wakes Ava up, exercises her arms and legs, prepares her medicines, administers them via a feeding tube and places a mask on her face to help her breathe. Victoria Barber, Anchorage Daily News, "Watch: In 1 minute, an Anchorage father shows what his morning with a special needs child is like," 26 June 2019 About 40 people attended the training at the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Southeast Anchor Library on Eastern Avenue where advocates role-played three possible scenarios in which people could be stopped by ICE and how people can exercise their rights. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "Threats of deportation raids frighten Baltimore immigrants: 'They're afraid to go outside'," 25 June 2019 This time New Orleans is the one exercising prudence. Jeff Duncan, nola.com, "With Zion at center stage, David Griffin as choreographer, Pelicans fans are ready to dance," 21 June 2019 Getty ImagesPool/Samir Hussein In general, senior members of the royal family (of which Meghan would probably be considered now) don’t usually opt to exercise their right to vote for the same reasons of neutrality. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Is Meghan Markle Voting? Kensington Palace Won't Say," 6 Nov. 2018 Most importantly, this is the moment to exercise your right to vote. Vogue, "Teddy Quinlivan: Why I’m Standing Up Against Trump’s Anti-Trans Agenda," 26 Oct. 2018 She's even been exercising in pink leggings (from her line, of course). Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Has Carrie Underwood Been Dropping Hints About Her Baby's Gender This Whole Time?," 11 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exercise.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of exercise

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for exercise

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French exercice, from Latin exercitium, from exercitare to train, exercise, frequentative of exercēre to train, occupy, from ex- + arcēre to enclose, hold off — more at ark

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Statistics for exercise

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exercise

The first known use of exercise was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for exercise

exercise

noun

English Language Learners Definition of exercise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: physical activity that is done in order to become stronger and healthier
: a particular movement or series of movements done to become stronger and healthier
: something that is done or practiced to develop a particular skill

exercise

verb

English Language Learners Definition of exercise (Entry 2 of 2)

: to do physical activities in order to make yourself stronger and healthier
: to use (a body part) again and again in order to make it stronger
: to cause (an animal) to walk, run, etc., : to give exercise to (an animal)

exercise

noun
ex·​er·​cise | \ ˈek-sər-ˌsīz How to pronounce exercise (audio) \

Kids Definition of exercise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of putting into use, action, or practice the exercise of patience
2 : bodily activity for the sake of improving physical fitness
3 : a school lesson or other task performed to develop skill : practice work : drill math exercises
4 exercises plural : a program of songs, speeches, and announcements of awards and honors graduation exercises

exercise

verb
exercised; exercising

Kids Definition of exercise (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put into use : exert He's exercising his authority.
2 : to take part in bodily activity for the sake of improving physical fitness
3 : to use again and again to train or develop exercise a muscle

exercise

noun
ex·​er·​cise | \ ˈek-sər-ˌsīz How to pronounce exercise (audio) \

Medical Definition of exercise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : regular or repeated use of a faculty or bodily organ
2 : bodily exertion for the sake of developing and maintaining physical fitness

exercise

verb
exercised; exercising

Medical Definition of exercise (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to use repeatedly in order to strengthen or develop (as a muscle)
2 : to put through exercises

intransitive verb

: to take exercise

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exercise

noun
ex·​er·​cise | \ ˈek-sər-ˌsīz How to pronounce exercise (audio) \

Legal Definition of exercise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the discharge of an official function or professional occupation
2 : the act or an instance of carrying out the terms of an agreement (as an option)

exercise

transitive verb
exercised; exercising

Legal Definition of exercise (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make effective in action exercising power
2 : to bring to bear exercise influence
3 : to implement the terms of (as an option)

Other Words from exercise

exercisable \ ˌek-​sər-​ˈsī-​zə-​bəl, ˈek-​sər-​ˌsī-​ How to pronounce exercisable (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on exercise

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