Definition of exercise in English:


Line breaks: ex¦er|cise
Pronunciation: /ˈɛksəsʌɪz


  • 2An activity carried out for a specific purpose: an exercise in public relations
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    • Earlier this year the council undertook a public consultation exercise regarding modernisation proposals.
    • The rebranding exercise could cost as much as £30m.
    • Yet the whole affair was a displacement activity: an exercise in self-deception.
  • 2.1 [count noun] A task set to practise or test a skill: there are exercises at the end of each book to check comprehension
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    • This Is Only A Test Simulations and tabletop exercises help CSOs practice and plan the best response for worst-case scenarios.
    • If necessary, people should practise some eye protection exercises or use eyedrops if their eyes are tired, Yu said.
    • After a multitude of prolonged tests and diving exercises, he was put back on active duty.
    task, piece of work, problem, assignment, piece of school work, piece of homework; Music étude
  • 2.2 (often exercises) A military drill or training manoeuvre: training exercises with the Kuwaiti army
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    • A severe fuel shortage has limited the country's ability to conduct military training exercises.
    • This is borne out by the results of research and experience in military training exercises.
    • They were sent to a Royal Marines training camp for military exercises to stimulate team spirit, foster leadership skills and sharpen their ability to make swift decisions.
  • 2.3 (exercises) North American Ceremonies: Bar Mitzvah exercises
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    • He returned to the topic of education in an address he gave in various versions at graduation exercises in the 1860s.
    • When I finished high school, I didn't go to graduation exercises, I went straight to serve in the army.
  • 3 [mass noun] The use or application of a faculty, right, or process: the exercise of authority
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    • His main burden seemed to be that in a just society there should be more room for the free exercise of religion in relation to higher learning.
    • The section is commonly described as involving the exercise of a discretion.
    • But that would be a matter for that Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction.
    use, utilization, employment; practice, putting into practice, application, operation, exertion, performance, implementation, discharge, accomplishment


[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Use or apply (a faculty, right, or process): control is exercised by the Board anyone receiving a suspect package should exercise extreme caution
    More example sentences
    • The banks stress they only exercise this right in extreme circumstances and would only take money from an account that was in credit.
    • The court is not exercising jurisdiction over the merits of the dispute.
    • In so doing, it is argued, he was properly exercising his discretion under subsection 4.
    use, employ, make use of, utilize, avail oneself of, put to use; practise, apply, bring to bear, bring into play, implement, exert, wield
  • 2 [no object] Engage in physical activity to sustain or improve health and fitness: she still exercised every day
    More example sentences
    • How often are you able to exercise or do physical activity?
    • It's important to keep on exercising to sustain improvements.
    • Parents should be observant in their children's activities; playing, exercising, reading, etc.
    work out, do exercises, keep fit, train, drill, engage in physical activity
    informal pump iron
  • 2.1 [with object] Exert (part of the body) to promote or improve muscular strength: raise your knee to exercise the upper leg muscles
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    • Not everyone can or wants to spend time exercising their body.
    • I have to say it is indicative of a certain section of society who spend so much time exercising their bodies and so little their minds.
    • Beyond exercising his body, he has been working on his New York accent too for the show.
  • 2.2 [with object] Cause (an animal) to take exercise: she exercised her dogs before breakfast
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    • You can always tell when somewhere suburban is pretty because it's full of people exercising their dogs and looking the other way when they foul the grass.
    • A Sunday newspaper reported that the incident happened in July when Anne, 52, and her husband were exercising the dog.
    • The attack occurred when the claimant was off duty and exercising the dog on the fields adjacent to his house.



More example sentences
  • By means of the Royal Powers Act 1953, parliament did provide that, ‘when the Queen is personally present in Australia, any power under an Act exercisable by the governor-general may be exercised by the Queen’.
  • In this sense, self-determination was a right exercisable by the people who arbitrarily found themselves lumped into an ascertainable territory: it was not a right belonging to ethnic groups.
  • It is often said that the degree of compassion and principle that are exercisable in politics are inversely related to proximity to power, rather than which side you're on.


More example sentences
  • We have basic good form, but we are easily distracted by birds or small children or other exercisers who look and perform better than we do.
  • ‘Our results showed that dosages of prescribed diabetes medications were reduced in 72 percent of exercisers, compared with the control group,’ says Castaneda.
  • A recent study of college athletes showed that exercisers who used techniques such as visualization, progressive muscle relaxation and keeping a journal were less fatigued, less depressed and less likely to get injured or sick.


Middle English (in the sense 'application of a right'): via Old French from Latin exercitium, from exercere 'keep busy, practise', from ex- 'thoroughly' + arcere 'keep in or away'.

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