Exercise is physical activity, like an exercise class, or the act of practicing anything — like people who exercise caution while crossing the street.

If your dad tells you to exercise restraint in dealing with your brother who just broke your computer, he hasn't suggested that you tie your brother up — here exercise means "use" or "practice." This might remind you of the writing exercises your teacher gave you: practice in forming letters. In many kinds of exercise, the results come from doing something over and over — just ask anyone who exercises, or works out.

Primary Meanings of exercise

the activity of exerting your muscles in various ways to keep fit
do physical exercise
the act of using
put to use
(usually plural) a ceremony that involves processions and speeches
Full Definitions of exercise

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

“the doctor recommended regular exercise
“he did some exercising
exercising, physical exercise, physical exertion, workout
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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
exercise set, set
several exercises intended to be done in series
anaerobic exercise, bodybuilding, muscle building, musclebuilding
exercise that builds muscles through tension
calisthenics, callisthenics
light exercises designed to promote general fitness
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)
Kegel exercises, pubococcygeus exercises
exercises for women designed to improve the ability to hold urine
stretch, stretching
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
a system of exercises practiced as part of the Hindu discipline to promote control of the body and mind
a gymnastic exercise performed on the rings when the gymnast supports himself with both arms extended horizontally
a gymnastic exercise on the parallel bars in which the body is lowered and raised by bending and straightening the arms
double leg circle
a gymnastic exercise performed on the pommel horse when the gymnast (with legs together) swings his legs in a circle while alternating hands on the pommels
grand circle
a gymnastic exercise performed on the horizontal bar by swinging around it with the body fully extended
the act of supporting yourself by your hands alone in an upside down position
a gymnastic exercise performed on the rings or horizontal bar or parallel bars when the gymnast's weight is supported by the arms
kip, upstart
a gymnastic exercise performed starting from a position with the legs over the upper body and moving to an erect position by arching the back and swinging the legs out and down while forcing the chest upright
long fly
a gymnastic exercise involving a long leap from a vaulting horse
a gymnastic exercise performed on the pommel horse when the gymnast moves his legs as the blades of scissors move
a gymnastic exercise performed with a leg on either side of the parallel bars
jump rope
a child's game or a cardiopulmonary exercise in which the player jumps over a swinging rope
exercise that conditions the body
aerobic exercise, aerobics
exercise that increases the need for oxygen
weightlift, weightlifting
bodybuilding by exercise that involves lifting weights
weight gaining
bodybuilding that increases muscle mass and body weight
running at a jog trot as a form of cardiopulmonary exercise
yawning and stretching (as when first waking up)
power walking
a form of cardiopulmonary exercise consisting of rapid walking accompanied by vigorous swinging of the arms
press-up, pushup
an arm exercise performed lying face to the floor and pushing the body up and down with the arms
chin-up, pull-up
an arm exercise performed by pulling yourself up on a horizontal bar until your chin is level with the bar
knee bend, squat, squatting
exercising by repeatedly assuming a crouching position with the knees bent; strengthens the leg muscles
leg curl, leg curling
an exercise designed to strengthen the flexor muscles of the leg
leg extensor
an exercise designed to strengthen the extensor muscles of the leg
a stomach exercise in which a person sits up from a supine position without using the arms for leverage
hatha yoga
yogic exercises (popular in the West) that combine difficult postures (which force the mind to withdraw from the outside world) with controlled breathing
Type of:
effort, elbow grease, exertion, sweat, travail
use of physical or mental energy; hard work

n systematic training by multiple repetitions

drill, practice, practice session, recitation
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fire drill
an exercise intended to train people in duties and escape procedures to be followed in case of fire
manual, manual of arms
(military) a prescribed drill in handling a rifle
military drill
training in marching and the use of weapons
(psychology) a form of practice; repetition of information (silently or aloud) in order to keep it in short-term memory
dry run, rehearsal
a practice session in preparation for a public performance (as of a play or speech or concert)
brushup, review
practice intended to polish performance or refresh the memory
(American football) practice play between a football team's squads
sparring with an imaginary opponent (for exercise or training)
target practice
practice in shooting at targets
close-order drill
(military) military drill of troops in standard marching (shoulder-to-shoulder)
drill on a barracks square
dress rehearsal
a full uninterrupted rehearsal in costumes shortly before the first performance
an uninterrupted rehearsal
a first perfunctory rehearsal of a theatrical production in which actors read their lines from the script and move as directed
rub up
a review that refreshes your memory
Type of:
grooming, preparation, training
activity leading to skilled behavior

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

Type of:
a task assigned for individual study

v do physical exercise

work out
work, work out
give a workout to
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limber up, loosen up, warm up
make one's body limber or suppler by stretching, as if to prepare for strenuous physical activity
exercise in order to prepare for an event or competition
do gymnastics, roll and turn skillfully
strengthen, tone, tone up
give a healthy elasticity to
press, weight-lift, weightlift
lift weights
execute a roll, in tumbling

v give a workout to

“Some parents exercise their infants”
“this puzzle will exercise your mind”
work, work out
work out
do physical exercise
warm up
cause to do preliminary exercises so as to stretch the muscles
cause to become limber
Type of:
put to work, work
cause to work

v learn by repetition

drill, practice, practise
Type of:
learn, read, study, take
be a student of a certain subject

v carry out or practice; as of jobs and professions

do, practice, practise
shamanise, shamanize
practice shamanism

n the act of using

employment, usage, use, utilisation, utilization
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the exercise of a profession
utilization or exercise
abuse, misuse
improper or excessive use
development, exploitation
the act of making some area of land or water more profitable or productive or useful
the act of processing used or abandoned materials for use in creating new products
application, practical application
the act of bringing something to bear; using it for a particular purpose
the practice of giving expert advice within a particular field
the practice of beautifying the face and hair and skin
dental practice
the practice of dentistry
law practice
the practice of law
medical practice
the practice of medicine
the practice of an optometrist
private practice
the practice of a profession independently and not as an employee
drug abuse, habit, substance abuse
excessive use of drugs
land development
making an area of land more useful
water development, water program, water project
making an area of water more useful
bottle collection
collecting bottles for reuse
wrong use or application
engineering, technology
the practical application of science to commerce or industry
overexploitation, overuse, overutilisation, overutilization
exploitation to the point of diminishing returns
capitalisation, capitalization
the act of capitalizing on an opportunity
commercialisation, commercialization
the act of commercializing something; involving something in commerce
the act of providing electricity
unitisation, unitization
the joint development of a petroleum resource that straddles territory controlled by different companies
the use or practice of witchcraft
Type of:
any specific behavior

v put to use

Type of:
apply, employ, use, utilise, utilize
put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose

n (usually plural) a ceremony that involves processions and speeches

“academic exercises
commencement, commencement ceremony, commencement exercise, graduation, graduation exercise
an academic exercise in which diplomas are conferred
Type of:
ceremonial, ceremonial occasion, ceremony, observance
a formal event performed on a special occasion

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