[ ek-ser-sahyz ]
/ ˈɛk sərˌsaɪz /


verb (used with object), ex·er·cised, ex·er·cis·ing.

verb (used without object), ex·er·cised, ex·er·cis·ing.

to go through exercises; take bodily exercise.

Origin of exercise

1300–50; Middle English (noun) < Middle French exercice < Latin exercitium, equivalent to exercit(us) past participle of exercēre to train (ex- ex-1 + -ercit-, stem of combining form of arcēre to restrain) + -ium noun suffix

Related forms

Can be confused

exercise exorcise

Synonym study

2. Exercise, drill, practice refer to activities undertaken for training in some skill. Exercise is the most general term and may be either physical or mental: an exercise in arithmetic. Drill is disciplined repetition of set exercises, often performed in a group, directed by a leader: military drill. Practice is repeated or methodical exercise: Even great musicians require constant practice.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for exercise

British Dictionary definitions for exercise


/ (ˈɛksəˌsaɪz) /

verb (mainly tr)


Derived Forms

exercisable, adjective

Word Origin for exercise

C14: from Old French exercice, from Latin exercitium, from exercēre to drill, from ex- 1 + arcēre to ward off
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medicine definitions for exercise


[ ĕksər-sīz′ ]


Active bodily exertion performed to develop or maintain fitness.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.