WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
ex•er•cise /ˈɛksɚˌsaɪz/USA pronunciation   n., v.,  -cised, -cis•ing. 
  1. activity or exertion, esp. for the sake of practice, training, or improvement:[uncountable]aerobic exercise.
  2. something done or performed as a means of practice or training:[countable]dancing exercises.
  3. a putting into action, use, or effect:[uncountable]the exercise of caution when driving.
  4. [countable] a written composition, musical piece, or artistic work done for practice or learning.

  1. to (cause to) go through exercises: [+ object]They exercised their muscles.[no object]We exercised for a full hour.
  2. to put into action, practice, or use:[+ object]They exercised their right to vote.
ex•er•cis•er, n.  [countable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
ex•er•cise  (eksər sīz′),USA pronunciation n., v.,  -cised, -cis•ing. 
  1. bodily or mental exertion, esp. for the sake of training or improvement of health:Walking is good exercise.
  2. something done or performed as a means of practice or training:exercises for the piano.
  3. a putting into action, use, operation, or effect:the exercise of caution.
  4. a written composition, musical piece, or artistic work executed for practice or to illustrate a particular aspect of technique.
  5. Often,  exercises. a traditional ceremony:graduation exercises.
  6. Religiona religious observance or service.

  1. to put through exercises, or forms of practice or exertion, designed to train, develop, condition, or the like:to exercise a horse.
  2. to put (faculties, rights, etc.) into action, practice, or use:to exercise freedom of speech.
  3. to use or display in one's action or procedure:to exercise judgment.
  4. to make use of (one's privileges, powers, etc.):to exercise one's constitutional rights.
  5. to discharge (a function);
    perform:to exercise the duties of one's office.
  6. to have as an effect:to exercise an influence on someone.
  7. to worry;
    make uneasy;
    annoy:to be much exercised about one's health.

  1. to go through exercises;
    take bodily exercise.
exer•cis′a•ble, adj. 
  • Latin exercitium, equivalent. to exercit(us) past participle of exercēre to train (ex- ex-1 + -ercit-, stem of combining form of arcēre to restrain) + -ium noun, nominal suffix
  • Middle French exercice
  • Middle English (noun, nominal) 1300–50
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged activity;
      calisthenics, gymnastics.
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged Exercise, drill, practice refer to activities undertaken for training in some skill.
      Exercise is the most general term and may be either physical or mental:an exercise in arithmetic.Drill is disciplined repetition of set exercises, often performed in a group, directed by a leader:military drill.Practice is repeated or methodical exercise:Even great musicians require constant practice.
    • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged employment, application, practice, performance.
    • 6.See corresponding entry in Unabridged ritual.
    • 7.See corresponding entry in Unabridged discipline, drill, school.
    • 9.See corresponding entry in Unabridged employ, apply, exert, practice.
    • 13.See corresponding entry in Unabridged try, trouble.
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged inaction.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

exercise /ˈɛksəˌsaɪz/ vb (mainly tr)
  1. to put into use; employ: to exercise tact
  2. (intransitive) 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. to carry out or cause to carry out, manoeuvres, simulated combat operations, etc
  1. physical exertion, esp for the purpose of development, training, or keeping fit
  2. mental or other activity or practice, esp in order to develop a skill
  3. a set of movements, questions, tasks, etc, designed to train, improve, or test one's ability in a particular field: piano exercises
  4. a performance or work of art done as practice or to demonstrate a technique
  5. the performance of a function; discharge: the exercise of one's rights, the object of the exercise is to win
  6. (sometimes plural) a manoeuvre or simulated combat operation carried out for training and evaluation
  7. (usually plural) US Canadian a ceremony or formal routine, esp at a school or college: opening exercises, graduation exercises
  8. a particular type of event, such as performing on the horizontal bar
Etymology: 14th Century: from Old French exercice, from Latin exercitium, from exercēre to drill, from ex-1 + arcēre to ward off

ˈexerˌcisable adj

'exercise' also found in these entries:

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