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a. Activity that requires physical or mental exertion, especially when performed to develop or maintain fitness: walks every day for exercise.
b. A specific activity performed to develop or maintain fitness or a skill: sit-ups and other exercises; a piano exercise.
a. The active use or application of something: the exercise of good judgment.
b. The discharge of a duty, function, or office.
3. An activity having a specified aspect: an undertaking that was an exercise in futility.
4. A military maneuver or training activity.
5. exercises A ceremony that includes speeches, presentations, and other activities: graduation exercises.
v. ex·er·cised, ex·er·cis·ing, ex·er·cis·es
a. To subject to practice or exertion in order to train, strengthen, or develop: exercise the back muscles; exercise the memory.
b. To put through exercises: exercise a platoon. See Synonyms at practice.
a. To make active use of; employ, apply, or exert: exercise restraint; exercise control.
b. To discharge (duties, for example).
a. To carry out the functions of: exercise the role of disciplinarian.
b. To execute the terms of (a stock option, for example).
4. To alarm, worry, or anger; upset: an injustice that exercised the whole community.
To engage in exercise.

[Middle English, from Old French exercice, from Latin exercitium, from exercitus, past participle of exercēre, to exercise : ex-, ex- + arcēre, to restrain.]

ex′er·cis′a·ble adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.exercising - the activity of exerting your muscles in various ways to keep fitexercising - 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"
cardiopulmonary exercise - exercise intended to strengthen the circulatory system
gymnastic exercise - (gymnastics) an exercise designed to develop and display strength and agility and balance (usually performed with or on some gymnastic apparatus)
kick up - raising the feet backward with the hands on the ground; a first movement in doing a handstand
elbow grease, exertion, effort, travail, sweat - use of physical or mental energy; hard work; "he got an A for effort"; "they managed only with great exertion"
exercise set, set - several exercises intended to be done in series; "he did four sets of the incline bench press"
anaerobic exercise, bodybuilding, muscle building, musclebuilding - exercise that builds muscles through tension
calisthenics, callisthenics - light exercises designed to promote general fitness; "several different calisthenics were illustrated in the video"
isometric exercise, isometrics - muscle-building exercises (or a system of musclebuilding exercises) involving muscular contractions against resistance without movement (the muscles contracts but the length of the muscle does not change)
isotonic exercise - exercise in which opposing muscles contract and there is controlled movement (tension is constant while the lengths of the muscles change); "the classic isotonic exercise is lifting free weights"
Kegel exercises, pubococcygeus exercises - exercises for women designed to improve the ability to hold urine
stretching, stretch - exercise designed to extend the limbs and muscles to their full extent
arm exercise - exercise designed to strengthen the arm muscles
back exercise - exercise designed to strengthen the back muscles
leg exercise - exercise designed to strengthen the leg muscles
neck exercise - exercise designed to strengthen the neck muscles
stomach exercise, tummy crunch - an exercise designed to strengthen the abdominal muscles
yoga - a system of exercises practiced as part of the Hindu discipline to promote control of the body and mind
References in classic literature ?
Leo lay on his back, elevated one foot, and began exercising his toes.
I confess I never before was under greater necessity of exercising philosophy and fortitude.
Among other good-for-nothing properties and privileges, one was especially assigned them,--that of exercising an influence over people's dreams.
exclaimed Hester Prynne, fixing her deep eyes on the minister's, and instinctively exercising a magnetic power over a spirit so shattered and subdued that it could hardly hold itself erect.
The girl's defense was, that the lordship of the seigniory was vested in the bishop, and the par- ticular right here involved was not transferable, but must be exercised by the lord himself or stand vacated; and that an older law, of the Church itself, strictly barred the bishop from exercising it.
Joe took a pin out of his lapel and began to assist in exercising the prisoner.
How soon he had walked himself into the proper resolution, however, how soon an opportunity of exercising it occurred, in what manner he expressed himself, and how he was received, need not be particularly told.
If he possessed fair abilities and showed common diligence in exercising them, his fortune was made; and the sooner he was sent to London to begin the better for his own interests it would be.
To maintain these retainers, and to support the extravagance and magnificence which their pride induced them to affect, the nobility borrowed sums of money from the Jews at the most usurious interest, which gnawed into their estates like consuming cankers, scarce to be cured unless when circumstances gave them an opportunity of getting free, by exercising upon their creditors some act of unprincipled violence.
That quieted my conscience until I began to wonder why one man should make another pay him for exercising one of the virtues.
But the HOUYHNHNMS train up their youth to strength, speed, and hardiness, by exercising them in running races up and down steep hills, and over hard stony grounds; and when they are all in a sweat, they are ordered to leap over head and ears into a pond or river.
But the chief ground of my satisfaction with thus method, was the assurance I had of thereby exercising my reason in all matters, if not with absolute perfection, at least with the greatest attainable by me: besides, I was conscious that by its use my mind was becoming gradually habituated to clearer and more distinct conceptions of its objects; and I hoped also, from not having restricted this method to any particular matter, to apply it to the difficulties of the other sciences, with not less success than to those of algebra.