Definition of futile in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfjuːtʌɪl/


Incapable of producing any useful result; pointless: a futile attempt to keep fans from mounting the stage it is futile to allocate blame for this
More example sentences
  • Although residents put up pockets of resistance, their attempts were largely futile.
  • You shift from one leg to the other, but know that that is a fairly futile attempt to relieve your discomfort.
  • They do not show an act of suicide but an attempt, however futile, to escape death.
fruitless, vain, pointless;
useless, worthless, ineffectual, ineffective, inefficacious, to no effect, of no use, in vain, to no avail, unavailing;
unsuccessful, failed, thwarted;
unproductive, barren, unprofitable, abortive;
impotent, hollow, empty, forlorn, idle, sterile, nugatory, valueless;
hopeless, doomed, lost
Australian/New Zealand informal no good to gundy
archaic bootless



Pronunciation: /ˈfjuːtʌɪlli/
Example sentences
  • Most days at least one gets itself stuck in the house, usually trying valiantly but ultimately futilely to fly through one of our closed windows.
  • And I did spend a lot of time futilely trying to talk to the FBI press office about the flight.
  • With each retelling, the story of the men who died gloriously but futilely just a few miles from help has seemed increasingly ridiculous.


Mid 16th century: from Latin futilis 'leaky, futile', apparently from fundere 'pour'.

Words that rhyme with futile

butyl, rutile, utile
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