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

According to board policy, the school board can decide to require patriotic exercises. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage School Board considers requiring national anthem and Alaska state song once a month in every school," 17 Sep. 2019 Hopefully this exercise of independence will happen again before the next full moon on a Friday the 13th. Los Angeles Times, "In defying Newsom, she tried to protect California from Trump — and showed how legislating should work," 16 Sep. 2019 Outdoor amenities will include a secure courtyard with a fire pit, dining area, putting green and gardens as well as walking paths with exercise stations. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "New assisted living community coming to Evergreen Walk in South Windsor," 16 Sep. 2019 The chimps, whose main activities are short bursts of high-intensity exercise like fighting or climbing, had the shortest, thickest ventricles. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Running—or sitting—can change the shape of your heart," 16 Sep. 2019 Moderate exercise is known to improve blood pressure — and that may include activities that are more exotic than a brisk walk, two preliminary studies suggest. Amy Norton, chicagotribune.com, "‘Hot’ yoga, hula dance your way to healthy blood pressure," 16 Sep. 2019 These non-academic exercises are a way for Newton students to decompress and focus on the positive — a priority since a cluster of student suicides during the 2013-14 academic year called attention to the school’s high-stakes atmosphere. BostonGlobe.com, "ada Pierre is tiny, her ambition drawn taut as a bowstring. The 16-year-old daughter of Haitian immigrants wears her hair in a small bun atop her head, her emerging political consciousness finding its voice in the bevy of Black Lives Matter and #MeToo stickers she’s pasted to her MacBook.," 15 Sep. 2019 This exercise burns two calories and most of your self-confidence. Irving Ruan Mia Mercado, The New Yorker, "Literal Writing Exercises," 14 Sep. 2019 That morning, Sue woke Ryan up to do muscle-building exercises with his dad. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "'I thought I'd be ready': Father mourns son's death 10 years after attack put him in coma," 14 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Other states protect mothers from retaliation for exercising their rights to pump during the workday. Anna Claire Vollers | Avollers@al.com, al, "Alabama lacks workplace protections for moms who want to breastfeed," 16 Sep. 2019 Another major selling point for exercising outdoors is the price tag. Stephanie Mansour, NBC News, "5 tips for exercising outdoors in warm weather," 9 Sep. 2019 The recall was organized and pushed by Stanford law professor Michele Dauber, who was intensely criticized by many legal experts for trying to punish a judge for exercising his discretion. Robin Abcarian, latimes.com, "For sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s child victims, the justice system may finally be working," 10 July 2019 Lampard will become Chelsea's fourth permanent boss since 2015, excluding interims, with the club having long had a reputation for exercising a lack of patience with managers. SI.com, "Frank Lampard Set (Very) Low Bar to Survive First Season at Chelsea as Contract Details Are Revealed," 26 June 2019 The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police couldn’t be sued for arresting a festivalgoer in Alaska who had contended officers targeted him for exercising his First Amendment rights. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Police in Free-Speech Case," 28 May 2019 This new limb is exercised differently from scene to scene. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "“Midnight Traveler” Expands the Narrative of the Refugee Documentary," 17 Sep. 2019 The Orlando Magic have exercised the team options for point guard Markelle Fultz, forward Jonathan Isaac and center Mo Bamba. Roy Parry, orlandosentinel.com, "Magic exercise options on Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba," 16 Sep. 2019 The group will exercise, blow bubbles, sing, make music with rhythm instruments and play with a parachute. courant.com, "Community News For The Vernon Edition," 13 Sep. 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

9 Oct 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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