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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from exercise

Verb

exercisable \ˈek-sər-ˌsī-zə-bəl \ 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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Trump administration takes this reshuffle to be a simple exercise in removing tentacles from the bureaucratic leviathan. The Economist, "Remaking the federal government," 28 June 2018 Some 40 Israeli fighter jets took part in the Greek exercise, together with transport and refueling aircraft. Yaakov Lappin, Jewish Journal, "Israeli paratroopers conduct training drills on Polish soil," 26 June 2018 In one exercise, Karvelis said, volunteers used the cutout Styrofoam from discarded life jackets on the beach to create props for a math lesson. Ted Andersen, SFChronicle.com, "East Bay retirees find spark volunteering in Greece with young refugees," 16 June 2018 But these walks in the woods aren’t just about exercise. Page Leggett, charlotteobserver, "Campers take in 'the joy of discovery' around the woods at Green River Preserve," 14 June 2018 Sunday, June 10, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland Conducting a roll call of the current members of a classic rock ensemble is a grim but necessary exercise when a venerable band’s musicians are famed soloists. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "KC concerts June 7-13: Dierks Bentley, David Byrne, Yes, Ledisi, John Butler Trio," 5 June 2018 Schnatter had used the slur during a media training exercise, Forbes said. NBC News, "Papa John's pulling founder's image from marketing after racial slur report," 13 July 2018 Schnatter had used the slur during a media training exercise, Forbes said. courant.com, "Papa John's is pulling founder's image from its marketing," 13 July 2018 Schnatter had used the slur during a media training exercise in May, Forbes reported this week. Candice Choi, USA TODAY, "Papa John's to pull founder John Schnatter's image from marketing over racial slur," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Chicks must be taught to eat and drink, and then must be exercised many times daily. Washington Post, "Louisiana’s whooping crane comeback: 5 chicks this year," 13 July 2018 Those who exercise for longer than an hour or in intensely hot conditions lose potassium in sweat and need to replace it for proper hydration. NBC News, "8 summer superfoods to eat after a tough workout," 11 July 2018 The Supreme Court should be above politics, qualified, and exercise fair and independent judgment. Erin Kelly, USA TODAY, "McConnell: Senate will vote this fall on replacement for Justice Kennedy on Supreme Court," 27 June 2018 None of the clemencies that Mr. Trump has granted have come through the front door of the Justice Department's Office of the Pardon Attorney, which typically assists the president in exercising his pardon power. CBS News, "Who gets a Trump pardon?," 1 June 2018 Ideally, Congress would constrain a president bent on exercising his powers to protect himself. The Economist, "Trump demands that those investigating him be investigated," 24 May 2018 Chronic stress also weakens a child’s cognitive functions that help them exercise self-control, problem-solving skills and other executive functions. WSJ, "As Border Separations Drag, Kids Internalize the Dread," 13 July 2018 Within that web of influence, Weinstein had the ability to exercise total control over women — offering tremendous opportunities to those who complied with him, and total ruin to those who didn’t. Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut, "Does Harvey Weinstein Profit From a Marchesa Comeback?," 10 June 2018 Companies have had years to prepare for GDPR to go into effect, but most are still lagging on introducing the tools for users to exercise these new rights. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "Europe's New Data Protections Will Affect You Too. Here's How.," 24 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about exercise

Phrases Related to exercise

exercise in futility

Statistics for exercise

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exercise

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on exercise

What made you want to look up exercise? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!