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 His son also cannot participate in contact sports such as football or strenuous weight training or other forms of exercise such as soccer or long-distance running. Edward Lee, baltimoresun.com, 4 July 2021 The previous iterations of this exercise are posted all around us on the walls, woven into a sort of rough net, designed by set designer Yu-Hsuan Chen. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 29 June 2021 During the cable car ride, Mr. Moon and his wife, Kim Jung-sook, diplomatically explained the health benefits of regular exercise while Mr. Kim appeared to look out the window uninterested. New York Times, 29 June 2021 Experts note that people who are very heavy are far more prone to diabetes and heart and respiratory issues than average-size individuals, but obesity isn’t always caused by poor diets and lack of exercise. NBC News, 27 June 2021 Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common type of diabetes, and it's associated with obesity, poor diet and a lack of exercise. Aya Elamroussi, CNN, 27 June 2021 Visiting a Bakersfield fitness center, Newsom emphasized the importance of exercise in physical and mental health in emerging from the stress of the pandemic and reengaging socially. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 June 2021 In fact, lack of exercise can possibly lead to aggressive behavior: biting, fighting, destructive chewing, etc. Washington Post, 26 June 2021 In this country, money is the point of every exercise. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, 25 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Investors are demanding that US shale companies finally exercise discipline after a decade of blowing through staggering sums of money. Matt Egan, CNN, 6 July 2021 By her account, Britney Spears is experiencing reproductive coercion, denied the ability to exercise her reproductive rights by being compelled to keep her IUD inserted against her will. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 July 2021 For the past 18 months, fantasizing about a lavish affair—or even observing it on social media—felt like an archaic, even dispiriting, exercise to undertake in our pandemic-era existence. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 30 June 2021 At the same time, Republicans have long believed that the federal government should be limited in size and scope so that Americans exercise democratic choice at the state and local level. John Tamny, WSJ, 28 June 2021 Then, members should seek inspiration on how to exercise their influence according to their individual priorities. The Salt Lake Tribune, 20 June 2021 An annual review of the basic training curriculum is underway, which might permanently adopt some of the modifications to exercise and movement imposed by the pandemic, and restore previous routines. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, 17 June 2021 Roads like this offer not only great scenery but the ability to exercise your vehicle at legal speeds. Karl Brauer, Forbes, 24 May 2021 The left ventricle of the heart becomes stiffer and less able to fill again after each stroke, leading to a disease known as diastolic heart failure, characterized by fatigue, shortness of breath and reduced ability to exercise. Bob Holmes, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 May 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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Buying Guide

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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

13 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exercise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exercise. Accessed 24 Jul. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on exercise

Nglish: Translation of exercise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exercise for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about exercise

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