exercise

1 of 2

noun

ex·​er·​cise ˈek-sər-ˌsīz How to pronounce exercise (audio)
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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 compromiseH. S. Ashmore
5
a
: 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

2 of 2

verb

exercised; exercising

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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
exercisable adjective

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
In addition, yoga, exercise classes and dog training are not protected. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Feb. 2024 This is why security becomes a risk management exercise. Christine Bejerasco, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 The pair first bonded over a love of working out (their first friend-date was a bootcamp exercise class in Central Park) but Steiling quickly became a supportive way for the veteran journalist to learn to cook. Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 13 Feb. 2024 What were my physical exercise and dietary patterns? Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 12 Feb. 2024 Even if Trump does win, though, his exercise of executive authority over the Justice Department and of the pardon power are not the judiciary’s business. Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, 10 Feb. 2024 Protein powders make claims of building lean muscles, while creatine boasts providing energy for short-term, intense exercise. Emily Hemendinger, Discover Magazine, 10 Feb. 2024 Try incorporating different exercise types, like aerobic or resistance training, into your daily routine. Dr. Roshini Raj, Health, 9 Feb. 2024 Gutierrez Reed has said that Baldwin didn’t pay attention during a gun safety training exercise. Gene Maddaus, Variety, 31 Jan. 2024
Verb
However, the volume of this work prevents them from exercising their talents on advanced analytics projects. Michael Amori, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 Do the Dolphins exercise Phillips’ fifth-year option? Daniel Oyefusi, Miami Herald, 14 Feb. 2024 Biden has urged Israel to exercise extreme caution before moving in. TIME, 12 Feb. 2024 The new ad appears to tout the benefits of modern technology but features strange images supposedly generated by AI, including women exercising with extra limbs and a group of friends enjoying handfuls of spaghetti. Ryan Gajewski, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Feb. 2024 Also, keep in mind that exercise alone is not enough to maintain optimal health over time. Sherri Gordon, Health, 9 Feb. 2024 If James exercises his player option for next season, his Lakers salary would rise to $51.4 million. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, 8 Feb. 2024 People with congestive heart failure could have gradual worsening of their ability to exercise and start feeling winded after a short walk. Katia Hetter, CNN, 7 Feb. 2024 The case accuses DeSantis of punishing Disney for exercising its right to free speech. Alexandra Banner, CNN, 2 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near exercise

Cite this Entry

“Exercise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exercise. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

exercise

1 of 2 noun
ex·​er·​cise ˈek-sər-ˌsīz How to pronounce exercise (audio)
1
: the act of putting into use, action, or practice
the exercise of power
2
: bodily activity for the sake of physical fitness
get plenty of fresh air and exercise
3
: something done to develop skill
arithmetic exercises
finger exercises
4
plural : a program of songs, speeches, and announcements of awards and honors
graduation exercises

exercise

2 of 2 verb
exercised; exercising
1
: to put into use : exert
exercise patience
exercise authority
2
a
: to use again and again in order to strengthen or develop
exercise a muscle
b
: to put through exercises : give exercise to
exercise the dog
3
: to worry, alarm, or annoy about something
the people were exercised about pollution
4
: to take exercise
exercises every day
exercisable adjective
exerciser noun

Medical Definition

exercise

1 of 2 noun
ex·​er·​cise ˈek-sər-ˌsīz How to pronounce exercise (audio)
1
: regular or repeated use of a faculty or bodily organ
2
: bodily exertion for the sake of developing and maintaining physical fitness

exercise

2 of 2 verb
exercised; exercising

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

Legal Definition

exercise

1 of 2 noun
ex·​er·​cise ˈek-sər-ˌsīz How to pronounce exercise (audio)
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

2 of 2 transitive verb
exercised; exercising
1
: to make effective in action
exercising power
2
: to bring to bear
exercise influence
3
: to implement the terms of (as an option)

More from Merriam-Webster on exercise

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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