exercise in futility

noun phrase

: an activity that is not successful or worthwhile
The negotiations turned out to be an exercise in futility.

Examples of exercise in futility in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For others, new year money resolutions are an annual exercise in futility. Ebony Flake, Essence, 31 Jan. 2024 As a result, many current and former officials in both capitals have concluded that trying to enhance relations in this area is an exercise in futility. Kenneth I. Juster, Foreign Affairs, 14 Apr. 2022 Still, with Democrats in the minority in the Senate, most of Mr. Leichter’s legislative career seemed an exercise in futility. Joseph Berger, New York Times, 12 June 2023 Remember, imperfection can be beautiful, too Attempting to obtain perfection in all aspects of our existence is an exercise in futility. Jennifer Dunphy, Good Housekeeping, 11 May 2023 For weeks now, teams have shifted their running game to the perimeter, realizing that running into the teeth of Stewart and Buckner is an exercise in futility. The Indianapolis Star, 17 Nov. 2022 At this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping track of mask-wearing protocols can feel like an exercise in futility as governmental advice keeps shifting, and the Republican governors of states like Texas and Florida seem diametrically opposed to mask mandates in any capacity. Emma Specter, Vogue, 21 Apr. 2022 Versions of that question popped up on social media recently while the U.S. House of Representatives conducted their exercise in futility — otherwise known as trying to pick a speaker. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 11 Jan. 2023 These goals are not an exercise in futility but rather in effort and progress. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 15 Sep. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'exercise in futility.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near exercise in futility

Cite this Entry

“Exercise in futility.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exercise%20in%20futility. Accessed 12 Jun. 2024.

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