- bodily or mental exertion, especially for the sake of training or improvement of health: Walking is good exercise.
- something done or performed as a means of practice or training: exercises for the piano.
- a putting into action, use, operation, or effect: the exercise of caution.
- a written composition, musical piece, or artistic work executed for practice or to illustrate a particular aspect of technique.
- Often exercises. a traditional ceremony: graduation exercises.
- a religious observance or service.
- to put through exercises, or forms of practice or exertion, designed to train, develop, condition, or the like: to exercise a horse.
- to put (faculties, rights, etc.) into action, practice, or use: to exercise freedom of speech.
- to use or display in one's action or procedure: to exercise judgment.
- to make use of (one's privileges, powers, etc.): to exercise one's constitutional rights.
- to discharge (a function); perform: to exercise the duties of one's office.
- to have as an effect: to exercise an influence on someone.
- to worry; make uneasy; annoy: to be much exercised about one's health.
- to go through exercises; take bodily exercise.
Origin of exercise
SynonymsSee more synonyms for exercise on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for exercise
Any plans to grow her exercise movement must, she insists, remain “completely organic.”How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze
January 9, 2015
A lot of people ring in the New Year with vows to lose weight and exercise.How Skinny Is Too Skinny? Israel Bans ‘Underweight’ Models
January 8, 2015
“Give about two [hours] every day to exercise,” Jefferson instructed his young nephew.Forget the Resolutions; Try a Few Declarations
January 1, 2015
In Japan, one woman said she liked the experience of marrying herself as an exercise in pampering.Why Singles Should Say ‘I Don’t’ to The Self-Marriage Movement
December 30, 2014
As I forced my exhausted body to exercise, I yelled at my legs like a drill sergeant, demanding five more minutes or one more set.You’re Never ‘Cured’ of an Eating Disorder
December 20, 2014
I had to walk as fast as I could, and exercise my limbs all I could, in order to keep warm.Biography of a Slave
I have a mile's drive up town to take, and I think the exercise might be good for you.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
Her comely face was slightly flushed, doubtless with the exercise of walking.In the Midst of Alarms
It was very certain that the exercise he was giving his brain must be beneficial.Her Father's Daughter
Because you aren't young is all the more reason you need the exercise.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
- to put into use; employto exercise tact
- (intr) to take exercise or perform exercises; exert one's muscles, etc, esp in order to keep fit
- to practise using in order to develop or trainto exercise one's voice
- to perform or make proper use ofto exercise one's rights
- to bring to bear; exertto exercise one's influence
- (often passive) to occupy the attentions of, esp so as to worry or vexto be exercised about a decision
- military to carry out or cause to carry out, manoeuvres, simulated combat operations, etc
- physical exertion, esp for the purpose of development, training, or keeping fit
- mental or other activity or practice, esp in order to develop a skill
- a set of movements, questions, tasks, etc, designed to train, improve, or test one's ability in a particular fieldpiano exercises
- a performance or work of art done as practice or to demonstrate a technique
- the performance of a function; dischargethe exercise of one's rights; the object of the exercise is to win
- (sometimes plural) military a manoeuvre or simulated combat operation carried out for training and evaluation
- (usually plural) US and Canadian a ceremony or formal routine, esp at a school or collegeopening exercises; graduation exercises
- gymnastics a particular type of event, such as performing on the horizontal bar
Word Origin and History for exercise
mid-14c., "condition of being in active operation; practice for the sake of training," from Old French exercice (13c.) "exercise, execution of power; physical or spiritual exercise," from Latin exercitium "training, exercise," from exercitare, frequentative of exercere "keep busy, drive on," literally "remove restraint," from ex- "off" (see ex-) + arcere "keep away, prevent, enclose," from PIE *ark- "to hold, contain, guard" (see arcane).
Original sense may have been driving farm animals to the field to plow. Meaning "physical activity" first recorded in English late 14c.; in reference to written schoolwork from early 17c. The ending was abstracted for formations such as dancercise (1967); jazzercise (1977); and boxercise (1985).
late 14c., "to employ, put into active use," from exercise (n.); originally "to make use of;" also in regard to mental and spiritual training; sense of "engage in physical activity" is from 1650s. Related: Exercised; exercises; exercising.
- Active bodily exertion performed to develop or maintain fitness.