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 attributivelyan 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

Synonyms: Verb

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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 During the pandemic Veterans Memorial Park has been a popular epicenter of exercise for residents looking to get outside. John Benson, cleveland, "Parma’s Soza Fitness and Wellness schedules community fitness day at Veterans Memorial Park," 13 July 2020 Plus, swimming in a pool or even jumping along with the waves in the ocean can be a form of exercise, which research has shown can reduce menstrual aches and pains. Molly Longman, refinery29.com, "Does Being Underwater Stop Your Period?," 9 July 2020 Praising the benefits of physical exercise helps little when jogging in a nearby neighborhood could cost your life. Lloyd B. Minor, Fortune, "These five numbers tell you everything you need to know about racial disparities in health care," 8 July 2020 But facing up to complexity is the point of the exercise. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "A Dream of Lasting Solidarity at the Dyke March," 24 June 2020 In the case of the flash-bang injury, two of the devices were deployed to enter the location of the exercise, the report said. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "Bureau of Prison workers injured by flash-bangs, pepper spray during training, watchdog finds," 19 June 2020 By requiring people in this study to wear fitness tracking devices, the researchers were able to more accurately estimate the impact of exercise on the outcome. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Too much sitting raises your risk for cancer, study finds," 18 June 2020 American officials are not so explicit about the meaning of the exercise. The Economist, "Identify yourself China’s next move in the South China Sea," 18 June 2020 The bombers were last deployed to Eielson from July through August 2017 in support of the Red Flag-Alaska exercise. Wyatt Olson, Anchorage Daily News, "B-52 bombers return to Alaska following three-year hiatus," 17 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Instead, they are strongly encouraged to continue to exercise distancing behavior. Washington Post, "The NHL moves north for its restart, shifting to Canada as U.S. struggles with pandemic," 11 July 2020 The governor’s attorneys said gym closures are legally sound because there’s an increased likelihood of being infected with COVID-19 through respiratory droplets when people exercise vigorously indoors. USA TODAY, "Scary spikes, missed warnings, saliva tests: News from around our 50 states," 10 July 2020 Regardless if such an advisory is issued, Houstonians should exercise caution when working and playing in the heat by limiting their exposure and knowing the signs of heat stroke. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "It’s going to get hotter, Houston," 8 July 2020 Participants who develop symptoms will need to be isolated immediately and given medical care, and players who are not actively involved in competition must exercise strict social distancing. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "Ohio allowing competitive games, tournaments in all sports through July 15 under guidelines," 7 July 2020 Voatz helps people exercise their right to vote in a safe and secure way. Jonathan Johnson, Fortune, "Overstock CEO: How blockchain can help pull us out of the coronavirus recession," 7 July 2020 Liberals believe, too, in government by consent and the rule of law: The state cannot exercise wholly arbitrary power, and its statutes bind all equally. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The Willful Blindness of Reactionary Liberalism," 6 July 2020 As Eban shows, the FDA does not always exercise its regulatory authority over the generic drug supply with adequate rigor. Daniel J. Kevles, The New York Review of Books, "The Scandal of Our Drug Supply," 6 July 2020 Motorists should exercise caution and be prepared for changes in visibility along their route. Sarah Brookbank, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati weather: Thunderstorms to start the week, then clear skies by Independence Day," 30 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for exercise

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for exercise

Last Updated

24 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Exercise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exercise. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for exercise

exercise

noun
How to pronounce exercise (audio)

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)
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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