exercise

noun
ex·​er·​cise | \ ˈek-sər-ˌsīz How to pronounce exercise (audio) \

Essential Meaning of exercise

1 : physical activity that is done in order to become stronger and healthier Get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Swimming is my favorite kind of exercise. See More ExamplesI need to get more exercise. [=I need to exercise more frequently] She plays tennis chiefly for (the) exercise.Hide
2 : a particular movement or series of movements done to become stronger and healthier knee exercises She did stretching exercises before her daily run.
3 : something that is done or practiced to develop a particular skill arithmetic exercises vocal exercises Do the writing exercise at the end of each chapter.

Full Definition of exercise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the act of bringing into play or realizing in action : use the exercise of self-control
b : the discharge of an official function or professional occupation exercise of his judicial duties
c : the act or an instance of carrying out the terms of an agreement (such as an option) often used attributively an option's exercise price
2a : regular or repeated use of a faculty or bodily organ
b : bodily exertion for the sake of developing and maintaining physical fitness trying to get more exercise
3 : something performed or practiced in order to develop, improve, or display a specific capability or skill arithmetic exercises vocal exercises
4 : a performance or activity having a strongly marked secondary or ulterior aspect party politics has always been an exercise in compromise— H. S. Ashmore
5a : a maneuver, operation, or drill carried out for training and discipline naval exercises
b exercises plural : a program including speeches, announcements of awards and honors, and various traditional practices of secular or religious character commencement exercises

exercise

verb
exercised; exercising

Definition of exercise (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to make effective in action : use didn't exercise good judgment
b : to bring to bear : exert exercise influence
c : to implement the terms of exercise an option
2a : to use repeatedly in order to strengthen or develop exercise a muscle
b : to train by drills and maneuvers exercise troops
c : to put through exercises exercise the horses
3a : to engage the attention and effort of
b : to cause anxiety, alarm, or indignation in the issues exercising voters this year

intransitive verb

: to take exercise

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Other Words from exercise

Verb

exercisable \ ˈek-​sər-​ˌsī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce exercise (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for exercise

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of exercise in a Sentence

Noun Get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Swimming is my favorite kind of exercise. She did stretching exercises before her daily run. Do the writing exercise at the end of each chapter. The negotiations have gotten nowhere, and I see no reason to continue with this pointless exercise. Verb It's important to exercise every day. He eats right and exercises regularly. Bicycle riding exercises the leg muscles. The stable boys exercise the horses every morning. He didn't exercise good judgment. We just need to exercise common sense. She has been reluctant to exercise her authority. Exercise caution when using these chemicals.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Brisk exercise, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, yoga and Tai Chi reset your nervous system and renew your energy level. Bryan Robinson, Forbes, 19 Sep. 2021 But determining sincerity in a country deeply divided over COVID mandates has become a tense exercise, a journey into uncharted territory. BostonGlobe.com, 18 Sep. 2021 Police and federal agencies have spent weeks on training exercise, including a table-top study of how forces will be deployed, according to Sean Gallagher, Capitol Police acting assistant chief for uniformed operations. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, 17 Sep. 2021 The exercise, which is used by teams in college and the NFL, pits a nine-man offense against a seven-man defense with nothing but running plays on the menu. Michael Cohen, Detroit Free Press, 14 Sep. 2021 The program includes cognitive and physical exercise and brain training, accelerated with non-invasive wearable technologies. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, 10 Sep. 2021 There's no timelier big-screen exercise in empathy than Flee, the story of a gay Afghan refugee's lifelong struggle to separate himself from the clutches of trauma. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 9 Sep. 2021 According to the National Rosacea Society, some of the most common triggers after sun are emotional stress, hot weather, wind, heavy exercise, alcohol consumption, hot baths, cold weather and spicy foods. Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2021 The production attracted local controversy by going ahead at a time when Sydney and other parts of New South Wales were under lockdown and people were allowed out of their houses only for essential reasons such as exercise, shopping and healthcare. Patrick Frater, Variety, 30 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb One after another on Friday, Democrats made emotional speeches against the bill, some recounting their own families’ experiences of earning the right to vote by becoming U.S. citizens or having to pay poll taxes to exercise their right. Dallas News, 27 Aug. 2021 The court curtailed its operations at the pandemic’s outset last March and held only a handful of jury trials in 2020, leading to a backlog of cases involving defendants who wished to exercise their right to a jury trial. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, 17 Aug. 2021 Put another way: Black people have been able to exercise this constitutional right less than a quarter of this nation’s existence. Washington Post, 12 Aug. 2021 Civil rights groups suing Florida allege HB 1 makes people afraid to exercise their constitutional right to protest. Lalee Ibssa, ABC News, 7 Aug. 2021 Those who wear a mask, on the other hand, especially when not required to, are choosing to exercise their right to put health and the community over self, over individual freedom. CNN, 3 Aug. 2021 Anybody in the state of Texas who needs to exercise the right to vote should do so freely. New York Times, 13 July 2021 Empire said her dissatisfaction with the construction of the house prompted it to exercise its right to terminate the contract. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, 10 June 2021 An effect of this change will be more crowded polling places, with voters having less options to exercise their right to vote. Ingrid Cotto, orlandosentinel.com, 18 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exercise.' 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 exercise

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for exercise

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French exercice, from Latin exercitium, from exercitare to train, exercise, frequentative of exercēre to train, occupy, from ex- + arcēre to enclose, hold off — more at ark

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Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best exercise bikes of 2021.

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Time Traveler for exercise

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near exercise

exercent

exercise

exercise bicycle

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Statistics for exercise

Last Updated

23 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exercise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exercise. Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for exercise

exercise

noun
ex·​er·​cise | \ ˈek-sər-ˌsīz How to pronounce exercise (audio) \

Kids Definition of exercise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of putting into use, action, or practice the exercise of patience
2 : bodily activity for the sake of improving physical fitness
3 : a school lesson or other task performed to develop skill : practice work : drill math exercises
4 exercises plural : a program of songs, speeches, and announcements of awards and honors graduation exercises

exercise

verb
exercised; exercising

Kids Definition of exercise (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put into use : exert He's exercising his authority.
2 : to take part in bodily activity for the sake of improving physical fitness
3 : to use again and again to train or develop exercise a muscle

exercise

noun
ex·​er·​cise | \ ˈek-sər-ˌsīz How to pronounce exercise (audio) \

Medical Definition of exercise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : regular or repeated use of a faculty or bodily organ
2 : bodily exertion for the sake of developing and maintaining physical fitness

exercise

verb
exercised; exercising

Medical Definition of exercise (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to use repeatedly in order to strengthen or develop (as a muscle)
2 : to put through exercises

intransitive verb

: to take exercise

exercise

noun
ex·​er·​cise | \ ˈek-sər-ˌsīz How to pronounce exercise (audio) \

Legal Definition of exercise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the discharge of an official function or professional occupation
2 : the act or an instance of carrying out the terms of an agreement (as an option)

exercise

transitive verb
exercised; exercising

Legal Definition of exercise (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make effective in action exercising power
2 : to bring to bear exercise influence
3 : to implement the terms of (as an option)

Other Words from exercise

exercisable \ ˌek-​sər-​ˈsī-​zə-​bəl, ˈek-​sər-​ˌsī-​ How to pronounce exercise (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on exercise

Nglish: Translation of exercise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exercise for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about exercise

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