futile

[ fyoot-l, fyoo-tahyl ]
/ ˈfyut l, ˈfyu taɪl /

adjective

incapable of producing any result; ineffective; useless; not successful: Attempting to force-feed the sick horse was futile.
trifling; frivolous; unimportant.

Nearby words

  1. futa jallon,
  2. futabatei,
  3. futcher's line,
  4. futhark,
  5. futhorc,
  6. futilely,
  7. futilitarian,
  8. futility,
  9. futon,
  10. futsal

Origin of futile

1545–55; < Latin fūtilis, futtilis easily broken, vain, worthless, equivalent to fūt- (akin to fundere to pour, melt) + -ilis -ile

Related formsfu·tile·ly, adverbfu·tile·ness, nounnon·fu·tile, adjectiveun·fu·tile, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for futile


British Dictionary definitions for futile

futile

/ (ˈfjuːtaɪl) /

adjective

having no effective result; unsuccessful
pointless; unimportant; trifling
inane or foolishdon't be so futile!
Derived Formsfutilely, adverbfutileness, noun

Word Origin for futile

C16: from Latin futtilis pouring out easily, worthless, from fundere to pour out

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

Word Origin and History for futile

futile

adj.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper