exercise

noun
ex·​er·​cise | \ˈek-sər-ˌsīz \

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 \ 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

Even the borders themselves are a relatively recent phenomenon: Until the 20th century, border crossings in North America were a relatively free and open exercise. Robert Sullivan, Vogue, "What If There Were No Borders?," 30 Nov. 2018 To use Steam, both as a developer and video game fan, is often an exercise in frustration. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "The game store that outshines Steam by staying small and weird," 29 Nov. 2018 Go it alone, and figuring out the best mascara for sensitive eyes is an exercise in misery. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "The 10 Best Mascaras for People With Sensitive Eyes," 18 Oct. 2018 This is the exercise our family ran in the spring of 1992, when my trailblazing mom, Barbara Boxer, decided to run for the U.S. Senate. Barbara Boxer And Nicole Boxer, Marie Claire, "Yes, Running for Office Is Risky, But It's Worth It," 9 Oct. 2018 The daily management meeting was itself an exercise in yogic patience and discipline, with all five members of the team doing a generally poor job of tolerating each other. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Google’s former PR boss Jessica Powell wrote a satirical novel about tech and published it all on Medium," 2 Oct. 2018 To be clear, this was a strictly hypothetical social media exercise. Mike Snyder, Houston Chronicle, "Should area school named after 'Little House' author get a new name?," 27 June 2018 While pursuing some of the issues—such as free exercise of religious practices—might be possible in federal courts, the decision leaves the state permitting process in the clear. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Hawaiian Supreme Court gives go-ahead to giant telescope," 1 Nov. 2018 Separatists and armed rebel groups had called for a boycott, viewing the polls as an illegitimate exercise under military occupation. Aijaz Hussain, The Seattle Times, "Fighting in Kashmir city leaves 3 combatants, civilian dead," 17 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On the positive side, there are certain mental tasks, when using these technologies, that exercise our brains. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Is our constant use of digital technologies affecting our brain health? We asked 11 experts.," 29 Nov. 2018 Anything above 70, for example, is reason to avoid exercising outdoors, and a level of 150 is cause for wearing protective face masks. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "California Fires: What to Know If You're Visiting California This Week," 21 Nov. 2018 The last time a carrier has ventured that far north was NATO Northern Star exercises in 1991. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Carriers Are Operating in the Arctic Circle for the First Time in Decades," 22 Oct. 2018 Only one person is known to have been hit by falling space debris: American woman Lottie Williams, who was struck but not injured by a falling piece of a U.S. Delta II rocket while exercising in an Oklahoma park in 1997. Fox News, "Chinese space station Tiangong-1 re-enters atmosphere, largely burns up," 2 Oct. 2018 Paid for by a freedom loving American Citizen exercising my natural law right, protected by the 1st Amendment and protected by the 2nd Amendment. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Facebook won’t fix itself," 15 Nov. 2018 All signs are that at least some of these governments will exercise their veto over... The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A European Digital Retreat," 7 Nov. 2018 Garmin devices recognize stress through your heart rate—a pulse that's elevated for long periods of time (when not exercising) shows signs of stress. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Garmin Vivosmart 4 review: An affordable band for easy fitness, SpO2 data," 27 Oct. 2018 Paid for by a freedom loving American Citizen exercising my natural law right, protected by the 1st Amendment and protected by the 2nd Amendment. Casey Newton, The Verge, "A new kind of dark money on Facebook is influencing elections," 18 Oct. 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

4 Dec 2018

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 \

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 \

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 \

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-​ \ adjective

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