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

Efforts to reach Roku customer service have been fruitless. Patrick Marshall, The Seattle Times, "How to get close to the look and feel of Windows Live Mail," 5 Apr. 2019 Still, the round of votes would at least clarify which approach had more bipartisan support and provide an insight into lawmakers’ thinking after weeks of fruitless negotiations. Vivian Salama, WSJ, "Senate Leaders Push Votes on Dueling Bills to End Shutdown," 22 Jan. 2019 Fed up with rising fuel costs and fruitless negotiations with Brazil’s government, thousands of drivers agreed to halt their trips and park their trucks along highways, halting deliveries of goods. Marina Lopes, Washington Post, "WhatsApp is upending the role of unions in Brazil. Next, it may transform politics.," 11 June 2018 Experts warn the meeting will likely prove fruitless, however. Alex Ward, Vox, "Trump and Xi Jinping could fix parts of the US-China relationship in Argentina. They won’t.," 29 Nov. 2018 Most Read Local Stories The venture was not entirely fruitless, however. Kyrie Long, The Seattle Times, "Family donates ice classic clock UA Museum of the North," 30 Mar. 2019 Inside the narrow corridors and cramped offices of the West Wing, aides knew that trying to persuade their boss to keep the memo private would likely be a fruitless endeavor. Philip Rucker, Washington Post, "‘Never any hesitation’: Trump was quickly persuaded to support memo’s release," 6 Mar. 2018 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

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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Statistics for fruitless

Last Updated

12 May 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).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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