What does exercise mean?

Definitions for exercise
ˈɛk sərˌsaɪzex·er·cise

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word exercise.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. exercise, exercising, physical exercise, physical exertion, workoutnoun

    the activity of exerting your muscles in various ways to keep fit

    "the doctor recommended regular exercise"; "he did some exercising"; "the physical exertion required by his work kept him fit"

  2. use, usage, utilization, utilisation, employment, exercisenoun

    the act of using

    "he warned against the use of narcotic drugs"; "skilled in the utilization of computers"

  3. exercise, practice, drill, practice session, recitationnoun

    systematic training by multiple repetitions

    "practice makes perfect"

  4. exercise, examplenoun

    a task performed or problem solved in order to develop skill or understanding

    "you must work the examples at the end of each chapter in the textbook"

  5. exerciseverb

    (usually plural) a ceremony that involves processions and speeches

    "academic exercises"

  6. exert, exerciseverb

    put to use

    "exert one's power or influence"

  7. practice, practise, exercise, doverb

    carry out or practice; as of jobs and professions

    "practice law"

  8. exercise, work, work outverb

    give a workout to

    "Some parents exercise their infants"; "My personal trainer works me hard"; "work one's muscles"; "this puzzle will exercise your mind"

  9. exercise, work outverb

    do physical exercise

    "She works out in the gym every day"

  10. drill, exercise, practice, practiseverb

    learn by repetition

    "We drilled French verbs every day"; "Pianists practice scales"


  1. Exercisenoun

    Bodily exertion for the sake of keeping the organs and functions in a healthy state; hygienic activity; as, to take exercise on horseback; to exercise on a treadmill or in a gym.


  1. exercisenoun

    Any activity designed to develop or hone a skill or ability.

    The teacher told us the next exercise is to write an essay.

  2. exercisenoun

    Physical activity intended to improve strength and fitness.

  3. exerciseverb

    To set into action or practice.

    He was going to exercise the horses.

  4. exerciseverb

    To perform any activity designed to develop or hone a skill or ability.

  5. exerciseverb

    To take action, enforce.

  6. Etymology: From exercitium

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Exercisen.a.

    Etymology: exerceo, Latin.

    This faculty of the mind, when it is exercised immediately about things, is called judgment. John Locke.

    The Roman tongue was the study of their youth: it was their own language they were instructed and exercised in. John Locke.

    Strong meat belongeth to them who, by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Hebr.

    Reason, by its own penetration, where it is strong and exercised, usually sees quicker and clearer without syllogism. John Locke.

    And now the goddess, exercis’d in ill,
    Who watch’d an hour to work her impious will,
    Ascends the roof. John Dryden, Æn. b. vii. l. 713.

    He will exercise himself with pleasure, and without weariness, in that godlike employment of doing good which is assigned him. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

    Sore travel hath God given to the sons of man, to be exercised therewith. Eccl. i. 13.

    Where pain of unextinguishable fire
    Must exercise us, without hope of end. John Milton, Par. Lost.

    A man’s body is confined to a place; but where friendship is, all offices are granted to him and his deputy: for he may exercise them by his friend. Francis Bacon, Essays.

    Age’s chief arts, and arms, are to grow wise;
    Virtue to know, and, known, to exercise. John Denham.

    The princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. Mat. xx.

    Their consciences oblige them to submit to that dominion which their governours had a right to exercise over them. John Locke.

    Mean while I’ll draw up my Numidian troop
    Within the square, to exercise their arms. Joseph Addison, Cato.

  2. EXERCISEnoun

    Etymology: exercitium, Latin.

    Men ought to beware that they use not exercise and a spare diet both; but if much exercise, a plentiful diet; if sparing diet, little exercise. Francis Bacon, Natural History, №. 298.

    The wise for cure on exercise depend;
    God never made his work for man to mend. Dryden.

    He is exact in prescribing the exercises of his patients, ordering some of them to walk eighty stadia in a day, which is about nine English miles. John Arbuthnot, on Coins.

    The purest exercise of health,
    The kind refresher of the Summer heats. James Thomson, Summer.

    As a watchful king, he would not neglect his safety, thinking nevertheless to perform all things rather as an exercise than as a labour. Francis Bacon, Henry VII.

    He was strong of body, and so much the stronger as he, by a well disciplined exercise, taught it both to do and to suffer. Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    The French apply themselves more universally to their exercises than any nation: one seldom sees a young gentleman that does not fence, dance, and ride. Addison.

    The sceptre of spiritual regimen over us in this present world, is at the length to be yielded up into the hands of the Father which gave it; that is, the use and exercise thereof shall cease, there being no longer on earth any militant church to govern. Richard Hooker, b. v. s. 54.

    The same prince refused even those of the church of England, who followed their master to St. Germain’s, the publick exercise of their religion. Joseph Addison, on Italy.

    The learning of the situation and boundaries of kingdoms, being only an exercise of the eyes and memory, a child with pleasure will learn them. John Locke.

    Children, by the exercise of their senses about objects that affect them in the womb, receive some few ideas before they are born. John Locke.

    Exercise is very alluring and entertaining to the understanding, while its reasoning powers are employed without labour. Isaac Watts.

    Patience is more oft the exercise
    Of saints, the trial of their fortitude
    Making them each his own deliverer,
    And victor over all
    That tyranny or fortune can inflict. John Milton, Agonistes.

    Good sir John,
    I’m in your debt for your last exercise;
    Come the next Sabbath, and I will content you. William Shakespeare.

  3. To Exerciseverb

    To use exercise; to labour for health or for amusement.

    The Lacedemonians were remarkable for the use of this sport, and Alexander the Great frequently exercised at it. Notes to the Odyssey.


  1. Exercise

    Exercise is a body activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness.It is performed for various reasons, to aid growth and improve strength, develop muscles and the cardiovascular system, hone athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance, improve health, or simply for enjoyment. Many individuals choose to exercise outdoors where they can congregate in groups, socialize, and improve well-being as well as mental health.In terms of health benefits, the amount of recommended exercise depends upon the goal, the type of exercise, and the age of the person. Even doing a small amount of exercise is healthier than doing none.


  1. exercise

    Exercise is a physical activity or a series of specific movements designed to improve health and fitness. It involves the use of various parts of the body to enhance muscle strength, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and overall wellbeing. This activity can also be used for weight management, stress reduction, and pleasure. Exercise can range from activities such as walking and jogging, to structured fitness programs or sports.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Exercisenoun

    the act of exercising; a setting in action or practicing; employment in the proper mode of activity; exertion; application; use; habitual activity; occupation, in general; practice

  2. Exercisenoun

    exertion for the sake of training or improvement whether physical, intellectual, or moral; practice to acquire skill, knowledge, virtue, perfectness, grace, etc

  3. Exercisenoun

    bodily exertion for the sake of keeping the organs and functions in a healthy state; hygienic activity; as, to take exercise on horseback

  4. Exercisenoun

    the performance of an office, a ceremony, or a religious duty

  5. Exercisenoun

    that which is done for the sake of exercising, practicing, training, or promoting skill, health, mental, improvement, moral discipline, etc.; that which is assigned or prescribed for such ends; hence, a disquisition; a lesson; a task; as, military or naval exercises; musical exercises; an exercise in composition

  6. Exercisenoun

    that which gives practice; a trial; a test

  7. Exerciseverb

    to set in action; to cause to act, move, or make exertion; to give employment to; to put in action habitually or constantly; to school or train; to exert repeatedly; to busy

  8. Exerciseverb

    to exert for the sake of training or improvement; to practice in order to develop; hence, also, to improve by practice; to discipline, and to use or to for the purpose of training; as, to exercise arms; to exercise one's self in music; to exercise troops

  9. Exerciseverb

    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; to affect; to discipline; as, exercised with pain

  10. Exerciseverb

    to put in practice; to carry out in action; to perform the duties of; to use; to employ; to practice; as, to exercise authority; to exercise an office

  11. Exerciseverb

    to exercise one's self, as under military training; to drill; to take exercise; to use action or exertion; to practice gymnastics; as, to exercise for health or amusement

  12. Etymology: [F. exercice, L. exercitium, from exercere, exercitum, to drive on, keep, busy, prob. orig., to thrust or drive out of the inclosure; ex out + arcere to shut up, inclose. See Ark.]


  1. Exercise

    The owner of an option contract has the right to exercise it, and thus require that the financial transaction specified by the contract is to be carried out immediately between the two parties, whereupon the option contract is terminated. When exercising a call option, the owner of the option purchases the underlying shares at the strike price from the option seller, while for a put option, the owner of the option sells the underlying to the option seller, again at the strike price.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Exercise

    eks′ėr-sīz, n. a putting in practice: exertion of the body for health or amusement: discipline: a lesson, task, academical disputation, &c.: (Shak.) skill: (pl.) military drill: an act of worship or devotion: a discourse, the discussion of a passage of Scripture, giving the coherence of text and context, &c.—the addition, giving the doctrinal propositions, &c.: the Presbytery itself.—v.t. to train by use: to improve by practice: to afflict: to put in practice: to use: to wield.—adj. Ex′ercisable. [O. Fr. exercice—L. exercitium—L. exercēre, -citumex, out, arcēre, to shut up.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Exercise

    Physical activity which is usually regular and done with the intention of improving or maintaining PHYSICAL FITNESS or HEALTH. Contrast with PHYSICAL EXERTION which is concerned largely with the physiologic and metabolic response to energy expenditure.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. exercise

    A military maneuver or simulated wartime operation involving planning, preparation, and execution. It is carried out for the purpose of training and evaluation. It may be a multinational, joint, or single-Service exercise, depending on participating organizations. See also command post exercise; field exercise; maneuver.

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    Bodily exertion requiring a $10,000 gymnasium, a ten-acre lot and impossible raiment. Originally confined to the wash-tub and the wood-pile.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. exercise

    The practice of all those motions, actions, and management of arms, whereby men are duly trained for service. Also, the practice of loosing, reefing, and furling sails.--Exercise, in naval tactics, may be applied to the forming a fleet into order of sailing, line of battle, &c. The French term is évolutions or tactiques, and may be defined as the execution of the movements which the different orders and disposition of fleets occasionally require, and which the several ships are directed to perform by means of signals. (See SIGNALS.)

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. exercise

    The practice of all those motions and actions, together with the whole management of arms, which are essential to the perfection of a soldier, and the rendering him fit for service.

Editors Contribution

  1. exercise

    A type of activity.

    Exercises are a good idea for health and also for learning in school.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 9, 2020  

  2. exercise

    A type of daily activity to maintain health and fitness.

    The family love to exercise by walking in the mountains and cycling together.

    Submitted by MaryC on May 3, 2015  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'exercise' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1689

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'exercise' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1549

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'exercise' in Nouns Frequency: #600

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'exercise' in Verbs Frequency: #407

How to pronounce exercise?

How to say exercise in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of exercise in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of exercise in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of exercise in a Sentence

  1. Christine Whelan:

    Self-control is a muscle that gets strong(er) when you exercise it, when we try to stop ourselves from eating overly caloric foods or smoking, we might be successful all day long.

  2. Euan Graham:

    By bringing the Soryu, it is demonstrating its range and then it gives the Australian navy the chance to exercise with it, including the opportunity to benchmark it against its existing Collins-class submarines.

  3. Carlos Curbelo:

    I think in the lame duck, there will be a major opportunity to address this in a definitive way, and I don't think we should underestimate the importance of the work that was done in the Senate when they had their immigration exercise and the work that we did here, that all sets up a possible resolution to all of this after the election. Which would be something to celebrate for sure.

  4. Warren Harding:

    We can not punish men in America for the exercise of their freedom in political and religious belief.

  5. Harry Reid:

    I don’t know how many people out there could sit down and do 250 sit-ups or do the strength exercise I did with those bands hundreds and hundreds of times -- hundreds of times -- every week, three times a week.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for exercise

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • تَمْرِين, تَدْرِيبArabic
  • практыкаваннеBelarusian
  • упражнявам, упражнявам се, тренировка, тренирам, упражнениеBulgarian
  • cvičit, cvičeníCzech
  • dyrke motionDanish
  • trainieren, Sport, Training, Übung, übenGerman
  • άσκηση, γυμναστικήGreek
  • ekzerciEsperanto
  • ejercer, ejercicio, ejercitarSpanish
  • õppusEstonian
  • تمرین, ورزش, مشقPersian
  • harjoitella, käyttää, kuntoilu, treenata, liikunta, harjoitus, treeni, harjoitteluFinnish
  • exercice, exercerFrench
  • eacarsaichScottish Gaelic
  • תַּרְגִּילHebrew
  • व्यायाम, अभ्यास, वर्ज़िश, कसरतHindi
  • egzèseHaitian Creole
  • edz, gyakorlat, edzés, gyakorol, gyakorlásHungarian
  • վարժությունArmenian
  • olahragaIndonesian
  • esercitareItalian
  • 体操, 体育, 練習, 運動Japanese
  • ვარჯიში, სავარჯიშოGeorgian
  • 연습, 運動, 운동, 련습Korean
  • exercitium, exercitātiōLatin
  • uždavinysLithuanian
  • vingrot, vingrinājums, vingrināt, izmantot, realizēt, vingrojumsLatvian
  • вежбаMacedonian
  • senaman, latihan, latih tubiMalay
  • oefenenDutch
  • treningNorwegian
  • ćwiczenie, ćwiczyćPolish
  • proceder, exercício, [[exercitar]]-[[se]], incitar, agirPortuguese
  • exercițiuRomanian
  • упражнение, зарядка, практиковаться, реализовывать, использовать, практика, упражняться, тренировка, тренироваться, физзарядкаRussian
  • вежба, vježba, вјежба, пракса, praksa, vežbaSerbo-Croatian
  • cvičenieSlovak
  • vaja, vadbaSlovene
  • träna, träning, praktisera, uppgift, utnyttja, övning, övaSwedish
  • mazoeziSwahili
  • వ్యాయామంTelugu
  • egzersizTurkish
  • вправаUkrainian
  • ورزش, مشقUrdu
  • bài tậpVietnamese
  • koapaskilükamVolapük

Get even more translations for exercise »


Find a translation for the exercise definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"exercise." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/exercise>.

Discuss these exercise definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for exercise? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    malicious satisfaction
    A gloat
    B knead
    C monish
    D suffuse

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for exercise: