an exercise in futility meaning, an exercise in futility definition | English Cobuild dictionary

an exercise in futility n.
a totally pointless endeavor

Additional comments:

Collaborative Dictionary     English Definition
n.
an exercise consisting in controlled downward and/or forward movement, used for weight training
exp.
someone who spends very few time with his wife/ her husband because of the partner's preoccupation with physical exercise
Collins

exercise

  

      vb   mainly tr  
1    to put into use; employ  
to exercise tact     
2    intr   to take exercise or perform exercises; exert one's muscles, etc., esp. in order to keep fit  
3    to practise using in order to develop or train  
to exercise one's voice     
4    to perform or make proper use of  
to exercise one's rights     
5    to bring to bear; exert  
to exercise one's influence     
6    often passive   to occupy the attentions of, esp. so as to worry or vex  
to be exercised about a decision     
7      (Military)   to carry out or cause to carry out, manoeuvres, simulated combat operations, etc.  
      n  
8    physical exertion, esp. for the purpose of development, training, or keeping fit  
9    mental or other activity or practice, esp. in order to develop a skill  
10    a set of movements, questions, tasks, etc., designed to train, improve, or test one's ability in a particular field  
piano exercises     
11    a performance or work of art done as practice or to demonstrate a technique  
12    the performance of a function; discharge  
the exercise of one's rights, the object of the exercise is to win     
13    sometimes pl     (Military)   a manoeuvre or simulated combat operation carried out for training and evaluation  
14    usually pl     (U.S. and Canadian)   a ceremony or formal routine, esp. at a school or college  
opening exercises, graduation exercises     
15      (Gymnastics)   a particular type of event, such as performing on the horizontal bar  
     (C14: from Old French exercice, from Latin exercitium, from exercere to drill, from ex-1 + arcere to ward off)  
  exercisable      adj  


exercise bike   , cycle  
      n   a stationary exercise machine that is pedalled like a bicycle as a method of increasing cardiovascular fitness  
exercise book  
      n   a notebook used by pupils and students  
exercise price  
      n     (Stock Exchange)   the price at which the holder of a traded option may exercise his right to buy (or sell) a security  
English Collins Dictionary - English Definition & Thesaurus  

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"Collins English Dictionary 5th Edition first published in 2000 © HarperCollins Publishers 1979, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"