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 exercise (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 Greeks remain in lockdown and are required to send an SMS or carry a handwritten note in order to leave their homes to visit a doctor, assist someone in need, shop at the supermarket or get some exercise, among other restricted activities. Helen Iatrou, CNN, "Tourist-starved Greece takes a gigantic leap of faith on Covid," 24 Apr. 2021 They were told to make their doctors aware of it prior to surgery and during long periods of sitting to get some exercise. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, "Dear Doctor: Does my husband need blood thinners for the rest of his life?," 22 Apr. 2021 So Americans headed outdoors to get their exercise. USA Today, "Before the pandemic ketchup squeeze: A year of COVID-19 product shortages and the items we struggled to find," 15 Apr. 2021 But gun ownership is also a privilege, governed by laws, and its proper exercise requires mental as well as physical skills, both of which require practice, and more practice. Star Tribune, "As sales surge, bearing arms means bearing responsibility," 15 Apr. 2021 Taranath said his Hanes reusable exercise face masks fit the bill. Nicole Saunders, NBC News, "8 best exercise face masks of 2021, according to health experts," 24 Mar. 2021 Knowing and avoiding your triggers and following basic headache hygiene (go to sleep at the same time every night, drink plenty of water, get regular exercise and eat regular meals) can help prevent some migraines. Marisa Cohen, Good Housekeeping, "7 Ways to Get Rid of a Migraine Fast, According to Experts," 23 Mar. 2021 And for anyone taking their exercise outdoors, The North Face has an excellent selection of mid- to lightweight, rain-friendly jackets on sale. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "15 Must-Have Activewear Deals We Found On Sale at Nordstrom," 15 Mar. 2021 The cheetah, Isabelle, was being walked by two Animal Programs staff members for her daily exercise when a zookeeper approached. Paul Best, Fox News, "Cheetah attacks Ohio zookeeper, scent of other animals likely triggered the cat," 13 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Forest Service is working to help ensure people exercise more care this year, said Gilkeson. Jennifer Bjorhus, Star Tribune, "Boundary Waters visits soared amid the pandemic," 27 Apr. 2021 Von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation, which supports voter ID requirements and the new Georgia election reform law, said even without valid identification many indigent Americans can still exercise their rights. Devin Dwyer, ABC News, "Crunch time for voter ID clinics as states tighten election laws," 27 Apr. 2021 One interpretation of these results is that those activities and social interactions allow people to exercise their cognitive skills. Jackie Rocheleau, Forbes, "Chronic Stress Is Unhealthy, But A Little Stress Isn’t Always So Bad," 9 Apr. 2021 There are also limits as to how far a resident can exercise outdoors while away from their house. Fox News, "Paris hit with third wave of COVID-19 infections, city locks down for a month," 19 Mar. 2021 Some fitness centers like Planet Fitness, for example, created their own mask mandates, while others allow people to exercise bare-faced. Zoe Malin, NBC News, "CDC updates: Wear a mask while exercising indoors at gyms," 9 Mar. 2021 The showdown has become a test of how much influence a strong urban union can exercise over education policy. Christine Mai-duc, WSJ, "Los Angeles Teachers Union Wields Power in Fight to Reopen Schools," 8 Mar. 2021 It is hosted on multiple servers spread around the world, ensuring that no one government can exercise total control over the service or gain access to information about its users. New York Times, "Telegram, Pro-Democracy Tool, Struggles Over New Fans From Far Right," 26 Jan. 2021 It is hosted on multiple servers spread around the world, ensuring that no one government can exercise total control over the service or gain access to information about its users. Michael Schwirtz, BostonGlobe.com, "Telegram, pro-democracy tool, struggles over new fans from far-right," 26 Jan. 2021

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

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exercise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exercise. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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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 exercise (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on exercise

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