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 The Supreme Court Friday gave the Trump administration a few more weeks to try to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census count used to apportion seats in Congress, in part because the effort may prove fruitless. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court: Challenge to Trump plan to exclude undocumented immigrants from census is premature," 18 Dec. 2020 The officers made an aggressive but fruitless effort to save his life, records obtained by the South Florida Sun Sentinel show. Lisa J. Huriash,, "‘I can’t get out’: As house fire roared, the boarded windows trapped man inside," 15 Dec. 2020 After a brief and ultimately fruitless chase at former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, Texas lent its support to embattled coach Tom Herman, who will return in 2021. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "College football winners and losers from Week 15: Alabama, Northwestern and Georgia impress," 12 Dec. 2020 Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer who has led the thus-far fruitless challenges to the presidential election results, has been admitted to Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, the Associated Press reports. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: Dec. 4-9," 10 Dec. 2020 Several proposals have already been introduced, and a vigorous, if sometimes fruitless, debate has played out there over the law's shortcomings. Brian Fung, CNN, "Big Tech shouldn't breathe a sigh of relief over Biden," 10 Nov. 2020 In pushing its boundaries, China appears to have brushed aside decades of quiet and ultimately fruitless talks to finalize the two countries' border. Steven Lee Myers New York Times, Star Tribune, "China attempts to win Bhutan territorial dispute by simply moving homes in," 28 Nov. 2020 The second half would also prove to be fruitless for the Wolves offense, as Cerullo threw a pick-six to Lancers defensive back Antonio Martinez. Chris Coppola, The Arizona Republic, "Week 8 high school football roundup: Salpointe Catholic downs Desert Mountain, finishes 6-0," 20 Nov. 2020 Efforts by Democrats and Republicans to reach a compromise on a second stimulus package have proved fruitless. David Lindquist, The Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis restaurants and bars can apply for rent relief through new grant program," 2 Oct. 2020

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

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

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Statistics for fruitless

Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fruitless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for fruitless


How to pronounce fruitless (audio)

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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