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

Such initiatives represent more decentralized and thoroughly democratic examples of the kind of exercises in monetary might long employed by wealthy individuals to change the world around them. John Paul Rollert, Fortune, "The Wayfair Walkout and the Rise of Activist Capitalism," 13 July 2019 My main gripe was that cycling had always seemed like an inefficient form of exercise. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "I Didn't Think I Liked Cycling—Until I Went on an Epic 239-Mile Trip," 11 July 2019 All-Star Game The whole point of this annual exercise isn't to predict which team will win the game. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Simulated All-Star Game: Matt Chapman propels American League to walk-off win," 9 July 2019 Indoors, the spa has begun 30-minute full-body workouts on Da Vinci boards, each outfitted with resistance bands to customize a variety of exercises. Connie Dufner, Dallas News, "Time to spa-tify: Wind down in style at Miraval Austin," 8 July 2019 While most workers deliver using a bicycle or scooter, seniors in search of exercise are doing it on foot, Khosrowshahi said. Bloomberg, The Mercury News, "Grannies in running shoes are delivering ramen for Uber in Japan," 5 July 2019 After completion, the group rotated so everyone experienced each part of the exercise. Fox News, "Fly off to Mars at Kennedy Space Center’s Astronaut Training Experience," 5 July 2019 The Rec Center there is swapping out equipment, adding new machines, and generally making my job of finding new forms of exercise easier all the time. Zachary Lewis, cleveland.com, "’Glute Drive’ dashes first impressions, builds deep strength: Stretching Out," 3 July 2019 This was the closing ceremony of an exercise in helping teens grow in leadership, communication and creativity. Jane Stueckemann, Houston Chronicle, "Live It Out camp closes out third year of ‘teens helping teens’," 21 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Unlike interstate natural gas pipelines, which have been able to exercise eminent domain under federal law since Congress passed the Natural Gas Act in 1938, interstate electricity-distribution lines lack any such authority. Peter R. Orszag, Houston Chronicle, "Guess what’s holding back wind power in the U.S.," 12 July 2019 Both Google Play and the App Store are home to exercise apps that provide an experience in which your real-world fitness blends into a digital one. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "AR goggles: FORM is sorta like Google Glass, but for swimming," 9 July 2019 The solution, Chief White said, is to exercise extra care. Amy Harmon, New York Times, "As Cameras Track Detroit’s Residents, a Debate Ensues Over Racial Bias," 8 July 2019 State police believe the three pit bulls belonging to Alexander were the only dogs responsible for the attack on Butler, but residents of Gilbertsville are urged to exercise caution towards any roaming dogs in the area. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky pit bull owner arrested after man killed by dogs, police say," 5 July 2019 Get sweaty on purpose People hype New Year's Day as the time to start exercising, but that was mid-winter — who cared? Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Summer in Arizona: Locals share 100 fun ways to survive the 100-degree heat in Phoenix," 1 July 2019 Vestager signaled this would happen in a 2017 Financial Times interview that cited the example of France, where the national competition regulator has been exercising this power for years. David Meyer, Fortune, "Broadcom Is Reeling from the Huawei Ban. Now It Faces Big Antitrust Trouble in Europe," 26 June 2019 Astronauts have to exercise two hours a day to keep from wasting away. Anchorage Daily News, "What the Space Age taught us: Earth is the best of all possible worlds," 23 June 2019 According to the new Vatican definition, a vulnerable person is anyone who is sick or suffering from a physical or psychiatric deficiency, isn’t able to exercise personal freedom and has a limited capacity to understand or resist the crime. Nicole Winfield, The Seattle Times, "Pope requires sex abuse claims be reported in Vatican City," 30 Mar. 2019

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

17 Jul 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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