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 Incorporate lifestyle changes, such as exercise, healthy eating, meditation, and regular and annual exams, to help reduce possible risk. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Health.com, 12 Oct. 2021 But keep in mind that these diet and exercise regimens can’t magically undo a lifetime of mistakes. Matt Fuchs, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Oct. 2021 But keep in mind that these diet and exercise regimens can’t magically undo a lifetime of mistakes. Washington Post, 11 Oct. 2021 This should be a concrete exercise, not a figurative one. Jim Berryhill, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 But sound sleep, not exercise data, might be the most persuasive reason to adopt a wearable. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, 6 Oct. 2021 The next thing is exercise, which doesn’t mean joining expensive gyms. Hannah Coates, Vogue, 4 Oct. 2021 Researchers have raised concerns about devices that monitor diet and exercise. John Horgan, Scientific American, 30 Sep. 2021 Internet search, today’s version of a library search, is an exercise in scholarly connection, of the kind this novel also enjoys—everyone and everything is related by cross-reference and classical allusion and thematic inheritance. James Wood, The New Yorker, 27 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Under the terms of the transaction, Cronos could exercise the option if the U.S. legalizes marijuana. Kristin Broughton, WSJ, 15 Oct. 2021 That sort of redirection and evasion, Nikiforakis said, lets phishing site owners exercise some control over who gets to visit their website. Washington Post, 8 Oct. 2021 Planets exercise gravity on each other, which is partly why experts suspect that Planet 9 exists in the first place. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 8 Oct. 2021 Y​​ou can exercise your way to bigger, more chiseled glutes. Audrey Noble, Harper's BAZAAR, 24 Sep. 2021 The schools exercise significant control over the athletes, through various rules and handbooks. Steve Berkowitz, USA TODAY, 23 Sep. 2021 Sponsor and Samsung may exercise this grant in any format, media, or technology now known or later developed for the full term of any copyright that may exist in such Submission Video and, if applicable, Challenge Videos. Billboard Staff, Billboard, 22 Sep. 2021 Trail users should exercise caution and steer clear of oversize trucks around the Sunset trailhead and surrounding forest roads. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, 16 Sep. 2021 Mary Kay Henry, president of the 2-million-member Service Employees International Union, said essential workers, in particular, learned lessons from the pandemic and were more emboldened than ever to exercise power. Los Angeles Times, 8 Aug. 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

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exercise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exercise. Accessed 18 Oct. 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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