- incapable of producing any result; ineffective; useless; not successful: Attempting to force-feed the sick horse was futile.
- trifling; frivolous; unimportant.
Origin of futile
Synonyms for futileSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Words for futilefruitless, worthless, impractical, ineffective, vain, insufficient, hollow, ineffectual, useless, unsuccessful, unproductive, unprofitable, trivial, abortive, barren, bootless, delusive, empty, exhausted, forlorn
Examples from the Web for futile
Contemporary Examples of futile
LONDON—You want to know how awful, futile, and dehumanizing war is?‘Fury’: A Ludicrous WWII Movie More Violent Than ‘Inglourious Basterds’
October 20, 2014
As a result, his rep rehab remains a lonely and futile mission.Three Dicks: Cheney, Nixon, Richard III and the Art of Reputation Rehab
July 27, 2014
The absurdity of North Korea now extends to its futile attempt to anticipate the whims of Mother Nature.Kim Jong-un Wants a New Doppler 2000
June 14, 2014
Their hope that this means the spotlight stays off them, however, will be futile: Brutally put, the papers prefer them to Charles.Calm Down, Prince George Is Just a Baby
April 16, 2014
When he finally became president, Nixon walked away from that war to prolong a futile one half a world away.100 Years of Right (And Left) Moves
March 31, 2014
Historical Examples of futile
The effort to make them "disgorge" is as continual as it is noisy, and, as a rule, futile.'Tis Sixty Years Since
Charles Francis Adams
So, she fought no more, but left destiny to work its will unhampered by her futile strivings.
But his well-meant attempt to assuage the stricken creature's wo was futile.
He felt suddenly young and futile; his just rage turned to blustering in his ears.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
He should therefore smile at the futile attempt to excite his jealousy.The Man Shakespeare
- having no effective result; unsuccessful
- pointless; unimportant; trifling
- inane or foolishdon't be so futile!
Word Origin for futile
1550s, from Middle French futile, from Latin futilis "vain, worthless, futile," literally "pouring out easily" (of a vessel), hence "easily emptied, leaky, unreliable," from base of fundere "pour, melt," from PIE root *gheu- "to pour" (see found (v.2)). Related: Futilely.