exercise

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English exercise, from Old French exercise, from Latin exercitium.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

exercise (countable and uncountable, plural exercises)

  1. (countable) Any activity designed to develop or hone a skill or ability.
    The teacher told us that the next exercise is to write an essay.
    • (Can we date this quote by Edmund Spenser and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      desire of knightly exercise
    • (Can we date this quote by John Locke and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      an exercise of the eyes and memory
  2. (countable, uncountable) Activity intended to improve physical, or sometimes mental, strength and fitness.
    Swimming is good exercise.
    I like to do my exercises every morning before breakfast.
    I do crosswords for mental exercise.
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314, page 0108:
      This new-comer was a man who in any company would have seemed striking. [] He was smooth-faced, and his fresh skin and well-developed figure bespoke the man in good physical condition through active exercise, yet well content with the world's apportionment.
    • 2018, Timothy R. Jennings, The Aging Brain, →ISBN, page 107:
      Regular mental exercise keeps the circuits of the brain active and healthy and reduces the risk of dementia.
  3. A setting in action or practicing; employment in the proper mode of activity; exertion; application; use.
    The law guarantees us the free exercise of our rights.
    • (Can we date this quote by Thomas Jefferson and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      exercise of the important function confided by the constitution to the legislature
    • (Can we date this quote by Alfred Tennyson and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      O we will walk this world, / Yoked in all exercise of noble end.
  4. The performance of an office, ceremony, or duty.
    I assisted the ailing vicar in the exercise of his parish duties.
    • (Can we date this quote by Joseph Addison and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Lewis refused even those of the church of England [] the public exercise of their religion.
    • c. 1593, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Richard the Third: []”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, (please specify the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals)]:
      He doth entreat your Grace, my noble lord, To visit him tomorrow or next day. To draw him from his holy exercise.
  5. (obsolete) That which gives practice; a trial; a test.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Verb[edit]

exercise (third-person singular simple present exercises, present participle exercising, simple past and past participle exercised)

  1. To exert for the sake of training or improvement; to practice in order to develop.
    to exercise troops or horses;  to exercise one's brain with a puzzle
  2. (intransitive) To perform physical activity for health or training.
    I exercise at the gym every day.
  3. (transitive) To use (a right, an option, etc.); to put into practice.
    The tenant exercised its option to renew the tenancy.
    She is going to exercise her right to vote.
  4. (now often in passive) To occupy the attention and effort of; to task; to tax, especially in a painful or vexatious manner; harass; to vex; to worry or make anxious.
    exercised with pain
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 2”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker [] [a]nd by Robert Boulter [] [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554, lines 88–89:
      Where pain of unextinguiſhable fire / Muſt exerciſe us without hope of end
  5. (obsolete) To set in action; to cause to act, move, or make exertion; to give employment to.

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]