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 first arguments for the Expanding Earth theory arose from the simple exercise of sliding cut-out continents around model globes. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "We’ve Been Wrong Before: The Expanding Earth Theory," 3 Aug. 2018 Max Weber wrote that politics is work that requires humility and care because the exercise of power over others puts your own soul at risk. Steve Israel, chicagotribune.com, "What's the greatest book about politics? Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich and others weigh in.," 12 July 2018 The party that produced Britain’s first Jewish and female prime ministers puts the disciplined exercise of power above mere dogma. The Economist, "The Conservative Party has trashed the basic principles of conservatism," 12 July 2018 There’s no need and no reason other than the exercise of political chicanery for American children to be separated from their parents, brothers, sisters and other family members in the United States. Fabiola Santiago, miamiherald, "Another separation crisis looms – this time for some 273,000 American children," 12 July 2018 Under the doctrine, courts must generally defer to an agency’s own interpretation of federal statutes when hearing challenges to that agency’s exercise of power. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "A Watershed Moment in American History," 10 July 2018 To further safeguard liberty, the framers insisted upon accountability for the exercise of executive power. Adam Liptak, BostonGlobe.com, "As judge, Kavanaugh has been a conservative stalwart," 10 July 2018 The two-year exercise of making Dust also succeeded in helping Wright feel re-enfranchised with co-writing again. Gary Graff, Billboard, "Adam Wright Spins Dark Revenge Tale on 'Billy, Get Your Bike': Premiere," 22 June 2018 Some consider exercise the healthiest and most enlightened form of stress relief, but my personal default mode is set to turning pages, not pounding pavement. Kelsey Keith, Curbed, "The inaugural monthly column from Curbed’s editor-in-chief turns an eye to Postmodernism, following the loss of Robert Venturi," 24 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In addition, the company granted stock options over more than 2.5 billion shares to more than 7,000 employees, who are now also free to exercise those options and then sell their shares. Joanne Chiu, WSJ, "Smartphone Giant Pivots From IPO to Buybacks Within Months," 21 Jan. 2019 The most popular methods were exercising and eating less — both were tried by 62.9% of dieters. Karen Kaplan, latimes.com, "If you're an adult in America, there's about a 50-50 chance you've been on a diet in the past year," 12 July 2018 The Spurs exercised Anderson’s qualifying offer last month in a bid to retain their 2014 first-round pick. Tom Orsborn, San Antonio Express-News, "Anderson appears headed to Memphis," 9 July 2018 The same logic says that those who smoke (read: poor), or don’t eat right (poor again), or don’t exercise enough (also poor) have personally failed and somehow deserve their health problems and low life expectancy. Gabriel Winant, The New Republic, "Barbara Ehrenreich’s radical critique of wellness and self-improvement," 23 May 2018 For the couple, the home is a welcome way to exercise their creative sides. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "It Took Renovating This Tudor for One Couple to Uncover Their True Style," 6 Mar. 2019 But Trump and Boulos both exercise a work hard, play hard ethos. Rose Minutaglio, Town & Country, "Inside Tiffany Trump's Relationship with New Boyfriend Michael Boulos," 18 Mar. 2019 The biggest thing that makes a difference in my looks—and my energy level—is exercising consistently. Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, "Hailey Bieber: In Her Own Words," 11 Mar. 2019 There's a limit to how much artwork and exercise a person can do in prison, Dozier said in court hearings and letters to Clark County District Judge Jennifer Togliatti, who postponed his execution last year. NBC News, "Nevada execution in doubt after drug company sues to stop it," 11 July 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

8 May 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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