Synonym Chooser

How is the word fruitless different from other adjectives like it?

The words futile and vain are common synonyms of fruitless. While all three words mean "producing no result," fruitless comes close to vain but often suggests long and arduous effort or severe disappointment.

fruitless efforts to obtain a lasting peace

When might futile be a better fit than fruitless?

The words futile and fruitless are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, futile may connote completeness of failure or unwisdom of undertaking.

resistance had proved so futile that surrender was the only choice left

When can vain be used instead of fruitless?

The words vain and fruitless can be used in similar contexts, but vain usually implies simple failure to achieve a desired result.

a vain attempt to get the car started

Thesaurus Entries Near fruitless

Cite this Entry

“Fruitless.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on fruitless

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