Synonyms & Antonyms of futile

2 lacking in seriousness or maturity
  • the futile chatter of gossip columnists about the comings and goings of Hollywood celebrities

Synonyms for futile

Words Related to futile

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Antonyms for futile

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Frequently Asked Questions About futile

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

The words fruitless and vain are common synonyms of futile. While all three words 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

How do fruitless and vain relate to one another, in the sense of futile?

Fruitless comes close to vain but often suggests long and arduous effort or severe disappointment.

fruitless efforts to obtain a lasting peace

When could vain be used to replace futile?

The words vain and futile 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

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Time Traveler for futile

Time Traveler

The first known use of futile was circa 1555

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Cite this Entry

“Futile.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on futile

Dictionary: Definition of futile

Nglish: Translation of futile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of futile for Arabic Speakers

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