exercise

1 of 2

noun

ex·​er·​cise ˈek-sər-ˌsīz How to pronounce exercise (audio)
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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 compromiseH. S. Ashmore
5
a
: 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

2 of 2

verb

exercised; exercising

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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
exercisable adjective

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
These Nike slides are great for the locker room, travel between games, and anywhere else your exercise might take you. Olivia Avitt, Peoplemag, 12 Apr. 2024 And adults are turning to bovine colostrum for a whole bunch of other reasons aside from its biological purpose, including clearing up their skin, boosting digestion, and improving exercise. Audrey Bruno, SELF, 11 Apr. 2024 Some recent research has also suggested that exercise in the morning may have its own unique benefits, such as better fat-burning. Ed Cara / Gizmodo, Quartz, 11 Apr. 2024 And nurture each other in a way that suggests that this whole manufactured exercise in Sasquatchery is really an allegory for the glorious, complicated human experience. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 11 Apr. 2024 As Mars and Saturn align, fighting to earn another’s respect is a fruitless exercise. USA TODAY, 10 Apr. 2024 These measures can include exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep. Dominique Fluker, Essence, 10 Apr. 2024 So for those of us torn between watching the sun get blotted out and getting blotto keeping our attention on a particularly good rock show, this exercise in multi-tasking was a real contest of self-will. Chris Willman, Variety, 9 Apr. 2024 Protein does so much for your body, from repairing muscles after exercise to keeping you full and satisfied. Audrey Bruno, SELF, 1 Apr. 2024
Verb
For the cover of the April 22 & 29, 2024, Innovation & Tech Issue, Ana Juan depicts a cat exercising its hunting instinct on a digital tablet, ignoring the real-life mice right behind it—a scene that both illustrates and allegorizes the pernicious appeal of today’s digital pastimes. Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker, 15 Apr. 2024 The Crossword Book Buy on Amazon This book is packed with over 350 options for dads who want to exercise their brains or who enjoy the challenge of a crossword puzzle. Lauren Finney Harden, Southern Living, 15 Apr. 2024 Tamar has her master's degree in nutrition and exercise physiology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Erika Prouty, Verywell Health, 11 Apr. 2024 The Rams declined to exercise his fifth-year option and, after offseason workouts in 2017, traded him to the Lions. Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times, 8 Apr. 2024 Rights may be exercised at any time during the subscription period. Charlotte Observer, 8 Apr. 2024 These border missions have been exercised by both red and blue commanders in chief. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 Apr. 2024 How Mary and George exercised their influence Appointed to the position of royal cup-bearer in 1614, George served the king drinks and monitored his cup to safeguard against any poisoning attempts. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Apr. 2024 These workouts involve exercising at a high intensity for short durations, like an all-out sprint or cycle for 30 seconds to a minute, followed by a period of low intensity activity. Jason Sawyer, Discover Magazine, 5 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'exercise.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near exercise

Cite this Entry

“Exercise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exercise. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

exercise

1 of 2 noun
ex·​er·​cise ˈek-sər-ˌsīz How to pronounce exercise (audio)
1
: the act of putting into use, action, or practice
the exercise of power
2
: bodily activity for the sake of physical fitness
get plenty of fresh air and exercise
3
: something done to develop skill
arithmetic exercises
finger exercises
4
plural : a program of songs, speeches, and announcements of awards and honors
graduation exercises

exercise

2 of 2 verb
exercised; exercising
1
: to put into use : exert
exercise patience
exercise authority
2
a
: to use again and again in order to strengthen or develop
exercise a muscle
b
: to put through exercises : give exercise to
exercise the dog
3
: to worry, alarm, or annoy about something
the people were exercised about pollution
4
: to take exercise
exercises every day
exercisable adjective
exerciser noun

Medical Definition

exercise

1 of 2 noun
ex·​er·​cise ˈek-sər-ˌsīz How to pronounce exercise (audio)
1
: regular or repeated use of a faculty or bodily organ
2
: bodily exertion for the sake of developing and maintaining physical fitness

exercise

2 of 2 verb
exercised; exercising

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

Legal Definition

exercise

1 of 2 noun
ex·​er·​cise ˈek-sər-ˌsīz How to pronounce exercise (audio)
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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on exercise

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