fruit·​less | \ˈfrüt-ləs \

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

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 Generally few Japanese are willing to fight unfair treatment in court out of fear of being considered a troublemaker in this harmony-loving nation, where litigation can be expensive and fruitless. Washington Post, "Dad takes Japan Inc. to court alleging paternity harassment," 6 June 2018 After decades of tortuous and fruitless negotiations between Athens and Skopje, Macedonia's prime minister agreed to the change to North Macedonia. Konstantin Testorides, Fox News, "Macedonia or North Macedonia? Vote tests a nation's identity," 28 Sep. 2018 Chen has a realization that perhaps he’s thrown his life away in a fruitless pursuit, but after a revelation, throws himself back into study. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "From the author of The Three-Body Problem," 15 Sep. 2018 But after four years of fruitless searching, the Malaysia investigators officially concluded the hunt this year with the plane still missing. Barbara S. Peterson, Popular Mechanics, "Did the Pilot Do it? Final MH370 Report Revives Suspicions of Foul Play," 31 July 2018 My fruitless wander yesterday had left me frustrated. Jason Harper, Condé Nast Traveler, "On the Hunt for Dinosaur Bones in the Gobi Desert," 20 July 2018 After 90 minutes of what felt like fruitless effort, my OB called a time out and cranked the epidural back up. Frances F. Denny, Harper's BAZAAR, "What People Don’t Tell You About Childbirth: The Realities of Vaginal Tearing," 16 July 2018 His trip last month to India, with which Canada has been conducting fruitless talks since 2010, was a disappointment. The Economist, "What’s next for Canada’s economy," 1 Mar. 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

8 Dec 2018

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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 \

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 nest or breeding place

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