fruit·​less | \ ˈfrüt-ləs How to pronounce fruitless (audio) \

Definition of fruitless

1 : unsuccessful a fruitless attempt
2 : lacking or not bearing fruit

Other Words from fruitless

fruitlessly adverb
fruitlessness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for fruitless

futile, vain, fruitless mean producing no result. futile may connote completeness of failure or unwisdom of undertaking. resistance had proved so futile that surrender was the only choice left vain usually implies simple failure to achieve a desired result. a vain attempt to get the car started fruitless comes close to vain but often suggests long and arduous effort or severe disappointment. fruitless efforts to obtain a lasting peace

Examples of fruitless in a Sentence

They made a fruitless attempt to find a solution. It would be fruitless to continue.
Recent Examples on the Web Vets sometimes have food in stock at their offices, and owners can check with other veterinarians if their first inquiry is fruitless. Washington Post, 12 Jan. 2022 Pietrzyk said appeals to Rome have been fruitless, and that Malloy has declined to outline his concerns or how Lovell can address them. John Keilman,, 3 Jan. 2022 But efforts to plug the man’s DNA into various databases, including the FBI’s, returned no hits; attempts to create a model of the man’s face based on the skull found also proved fruitless. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 14 Dec. 2021 But in the dauntingly complex systems in which glia operate, those targets have so far proved fruitless. New York Times, 9 Nov. 2021 Negotiating some bipartisan solution to the budget crisis proved to be fruitless as Tea Party–adjacent Republicans on the committee refused to break Grover Norquist’s pledge not to increase taxes. Patrick Caldwell, The New Republic, 6 Dec. 2021 Reasoning with either of the two extremes has been fruitless. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 10 Nov. 2021 But the governor was making a fruitless attempt to stanch a rebellion against Britain that, for other reasons, was well underway and had already escalated into open combat at the Battles of Lexington and Concord. New York Times, 15 Nov. 2021 Reasoning with either of the two extremes has been fruitless. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 10 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fruitless.' 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 fruitless

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for fruitless

Time Traveler

The first known use of fruitless was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near fruitless

fruit leather



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Statistics for fruitless

Last Updated

20 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fruitless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for fruitless



English Language Learners Definition of fruitless

: producing no good results : not successful


fruit·​less | \ ˈfrüt-ləs How to pronounce fruitless (audio) \

Kids Definition of fruitless

1 : not bearing fruit fruitless trees
2 : unsuccessful a fruitless search

Other Words from fruitless

fruitlessly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on fruitless

Nglish: Translation of fruitless for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fruitless for Arabic Speakers


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