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

The work was not only a brilliant exercise in reclamation but also an exploration of shifts in cultural temper and a shrewd meditation on biographical writing. Katherine A. Powers, WSJ, "‘L.E.L.’ Review: The Case of the ‘Female Byron’," 1 Mar. 2019 These bad actors include chronic stress, a lack of exercise and restorative sleep, toxins from molds, and fat-laden fast foods. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 Though technically an exercise in figure drawing, the night was a fundraising event for the New York Academy of Art—a graduate school and gallery founded in part by Andy Warhol in 1982, dedicated to intensive training in the fine arts. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Send Nudes: The New York Academy of Art Hosts Its Annual Drawing Party," 15 Feb. 2019 Note that smaller ride-share companies were not included in this exercise, so the market shares of Uber, Lyft and taxis should be slightly less. Rani Molla, Recode, "Here are five hidden trends in corporate America’s travel and expenses as online services take over," 26 July 2018 The president opened the day by reviewing a private military exercise alongside May at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Jonathan Lemire And Jill Colvin, chicagotribune.com, "Explosive Trump tabloid interview adds to chaos on 1st British visit," 13 July 2018 Russia tested a missile during military exercises along the country’s border with North Atlantic Treaty Organization member countries in September 2017. WSJ, "Corrections & Amplifications," 3 Feb. 2019 So having a merchant or a business partner truly understand and support the creative’s vision, to take that vision and turn it into a commercial product is an absolutely vital exercise. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Constant Innovation in a Culture of Inclusivity: A Conversation With Tapestry CEO Victor Luis," 30 Jan. 2019 Perhaps even worse, the president also kept Mattis out of the loop on other major military announcements, including halting military exercises with South Korea and banning transgender troops from the military. Alex Ward, Vox, "James Mattis, the last “adult” in the Trump administration, resigns as defense secretary," 20 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

James’ agent, Rich Paul, told the Cleveland Cavaliers that James will not exercise his $35.6-million option for next season, according to a source who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. Tania Ganguli, latimes.com, "LeBron James to become free agent after letting Cavaliers know he will not exercise option on contract," 30 June 2018 So if more Americans are exercising, how can more also be getting fatter? Mike Stobbe, BostonGlobe.com, "Survey: Exercise and obesity are both rising in US," 29 June 2018 So if more Americans are exercising, how can more also be getting fatter? Washington Post, "Survey: Exercise and obesity are both rising in US," 28 June 2018 D'Antoni signed a four-year deal as the choice of former Rockets owner Leslie Alexander in June 2016, but the 2019-20 season was at the team's option before the Rockets exercised that option on Wednesday. Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle, "Rockets pick up fourth-year option on Mike D'Antoni's contract," 27 June 2018 The Kings are waiting to hear if Garrett Temple will exercise his $8 million option to stay next season. Jason Jones, sacbee, "Marvin Bagley's talent has the Kings excited. How his addition might impact the roster," 22 June 2018 Tolerance and acceptance are the foundations upon which our great nation was built, and a mindset exercised by our earliest American Presidents. Fez Zafar, Teen Vogue, "Why I Started the American Iftar Dinner," 5 June 2018 Some of America's closest allies in western Europe, after having shunned the embassy inauguration, are calling on Israel to exercise restraint. latimes.com, "Today: Festivities and Fury," 15 May 2018 Weeks before his daughter's wedding ceremony, Markle staged photos of himself shopping for suits, exercising, and reading up on British history and culture seemingly in preparation for his trip across the pond. refinery29.com, "Meghan Markle's Dad Continues To Spill Tea About The Royal Wedding," 18 June 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

13 Mar 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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