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

Deputy Jacob Saxon had been under investigation since Jan. 30, after his assigned police dog, Magnum, suffered from a broken leg during a training exercise. Ricky Pinela, orlandosentinel.com, "Deputy who resigned after injuring police dog won’t face criminal charges: report," 2 Aug. 2019 The accident occurred during a routine training exercise at 9:50 a.m. local time. Peter Martinez, CBS News, "Pilot dead in Navy fighter jet crash in California's Death Valley National Park," 1 Aug. 2019 Moscow has furiously denied Seoul's account of the encounter, claiming that South Korean military jets recklessly intercepted two of its bombers during a first-of-its-kind military exercise with China over neutral waters. Brad Lendon, CNN, "Why Russia and China are wading into a centuries' old dispute over a tiny island cluster," 26 July 2019 Warning shots South Korea accused Russian aircraft of violating its airspace during a joint military exercise with China. The Economist, "Politics this week," 25 July 2019 Innovation: Beta Cloth Invention Date: 1967, in the aftermath of Apollo 1’s deadly fire during a test exercise. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "How Our Trip to the Moon Pushed Innovation Here on Earth," 23 July 2019 The military is fighting a deadly enemy: Heat As temperatures rise, more U.S. troops are falling to heatstroke during training exercises in the U.S., NBC News found in an investigation with InsideClimate News, a nonprofit outlet. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "Boris Johnson, the military grapples with a deadly enemy & Mueller as muse: The Morning Rundown," 23 July 2019 Williams was killed in a Humvee wreck during a training exercise in Kuwait in 1998. USA TODAY, "Moon trees, moon film, monk honored: News from around our 50 states," 23 July 2019 On January 27, 1967, Grissom died aboard Apollo I — along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee — when a flash fire broke out in the command module during a training exercise. Casey Smith, Indianapolis Star, "Meet these 12 astronauts — each from Indiana," 20 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In one 2014 study published in the Journal of Vascular Health and Risk Management, researchers had participants exercise at three different times of day: 7 a.m., 11 a.m., and 7 p.m. Gabrielle Kassel, Health.com, "The Best Time To Work Out Is Actually In The Morning—Here's Why," 6 Aug. 2019 The Lions exercised the fifth-year option on Decker's rookie contract earlier this year. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions offensive lineman Joe Dahl has a new contract, maybe a starting job," 6 Aug. 2019 Big donors and billionaires may exercise too much influence, but Democratic primary voters should be wary of candidates who use that fact to explain away all opposition to their ideas. The Washington Post, Twin Cities, "Other voices: In need of a grounded vision," 4 Aug. 2019 In 2011, Kara Kennedy, Edward Kennedy’s daughter, died of a heart attack while exercising at a health club. Michael Levenson, BostonGlobe.com, "For Kennedy grandchildren, family name is a burden and a blessing," 2 Aug. 2019 In the meantime, the FDA could exercise enforcement discretion to allow CBD to be marketed in food so long as the products meet certain conditions. Scott Gottlieb, chicagotribune.com, "Former FDA commissioner: CBD craze is getting out of hand," 2 Aug. 2019 The Jaguars exercised the fifth-year option in the deal, meaning he's tied to the club for $13.7 million in 2020. Mark Long, Houston Chronicle, "Jaguars' Jalen Ramsey arrives at training camp in armored truck," 24 July 2019 Jones is exercising a lot of caution moving in on Santos. Todd Martin, latimes.com, "UFC 239: Jon Jones defeats Thiago Santos; Nunes stops Holm," 6 July 2019 As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, center Marc Gasol is exercising his player option and staying in Toronto for the 2019-20 season. Tim Bielik, cleveland.com, "Marc Gasol exercises player option to stay with Toronto Raptors: Report," 26 June 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

14 Aug 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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