Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal.
Related to futilely: vilely


 (fyo͞ot′l, fyo͞o′tīl′)
Having no useful result; ineffectual: a futile attempt to renegotiate the contract.

[Latin fūtilis; see gheu- in Indo-European roots.]

fu′tile·ly adv.
fu′tile·ness n.
Synonyms: futile, barren, bootless, fruitless, ineffectual, pointless, unavailing, useless, vain
These adjectives mean producing no result or effect: a futile effort; barren research; bootless entreaties; fruitless labors; ineffectual treatments; pointless comments; an unavailing attempt; a useless discussion; vain regrets.
Antonym: useful
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.futilely - in a futile and unproductive manner


[ˈfjuːtaɪlɪ] advfutilmente
References in classic literature ?
Latterly he had seen only Life, felt only the great passionate pulse of existence, unwarped, uncontorted, untrammelled by those creeds which futilely attempt to check what wisdom would be content to regulate.
My fingers clawed futilely at the unyielding portal, while my eyes sought in vain for a duplicate of the button which had given us ingress.
Time and again the now useless stub of its giant sting struck futilely against my body, but the blows alone were almost as effective as the kick of a horse; so that when I say futilely, I refer only to the natural function of the disabled member--eventually the thing would have hammered me to a pulp.
There before him stood the terrified girl vainly trying to fire another bullet into the animal's body; but she did not understand the mechanism of the firearm, and the hammer fell futilely upon an empty cartridge.
She could tell no more than I why she had ceased to love me; she was scarcely less anxious than I that I should make her love me again, and, as I have said, she waited with a wonderful tolerance while I strove futilely to discover in what I was lacking and to remedy it.
He leaped futilely at the grinning ape-man, tore at the protruding end of the shaft, and then, springing into the trail, paced back and forth beneath his tormentor.
In silence, in love, and in reverence he buried, in the little rose garden that had been Jane Clayton's pride and love, the poor, charred form and beside it the great black warriors who had given their lives so futilely in their mistress' protection.
Rokoff fought furiously but futilely against the growling, rending fate that had overtaken him.
He hurled himself forward until the iron fetter bit deep into his flesh, but all futilely.
Here it leaped futilely a half dozen times for the top of the palisade, and then trembling and chattering in rage it ran back and forth along the base of the obstacle, just as a wild beast in captivity paces angrily before the bars of its cage.
The girl raised her riding whip and struck repeatedly but futilely against the iron headgear of her assailant while he swung his horse up the road, and, dragging her palfrey after him, galloped rapidly out of sight.
Before him, on a couch, the woman lay, and on top of her was Paulvitch, his fingers gripping the fair throat, while his victim's hands beat futilely at his face, tearing desperately at the cruel fingers that were forcing the life from her.