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

Definition of fruitless

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

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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

Months of talks between Europe and the U.S. over ways to reinforce the agreement proved to be fruitless in keeping the U.S. in the deal. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "Europe Pulls Together in Bid to Preserve Iran Deal," 9 May 2018 But both parties signaled that further cooperation would be fruitless, and said Manafort’s sentencing should be scheduled. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "New developments about Mueller, Manafort, and Corsi.," 27 Nov. 2018 But as the project’s cost kept rising, Scruggs and the VVMF realized their efforts were fruitless. Fox News, "Plans for Vietnam War education center on National Mall shut down over funding concerns," 22 Sep. 2018 Prior searches have been fruitless, but the answer to finding the wayward plane that presumably carried 239 passengers to their deaths might be buried in a mathematical model, rather than the waters that have already been searched. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "New Research Might Locate Flight MH370—And Solve One of the Greatest Aviation Mysteries of All Time," 7 Dec. 2018 But obsessing over the shoulda, woulda, couldas is fruitless. Colleen Leahey Mckeegan, Marie Claire, "How to Stay Sane While Struggling to Get Pregnant," 1 Oct. 2018 Efforts to eradicate the invasive species proved fruitless: the gypsy moth remains a scourge to this day. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "These 19th-century astronomical drawings show the beauty of cosmos," 30 Sep. 2018 Try to get your hands on copies of Cabana magazine’s earlier issues and your attempts may prove fruitless. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Catching Up With Cabana: The Treasured Magazine Releases an Anthology and Debuts a Pop-Up Shop," 14 Sep. 2018 Places like Namibia, Canada and Ireland have all been thrown around as potential romantic options for the newlyweds' top secret honeymoon location—each as fruitless as the last. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Honeymoon Was So Secret, Only Two People Knew About It," 20 Aug. 2018

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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Last Updated

3 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for fruitless

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

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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

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Comments on fruitless

What made you want to look up fruitless? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to corrupt or become corrupted

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