- 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 futile
- 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.