[fyoot-l, fyoo-tahyl]
incapable of producing any result; ineffective; useless; not successful: Attempting to force-feed the sick horse was futile.
trifling; frivolous; unimportant.

1545–55; < Latin fūtilis, futtilis easily broken, vain, worthless, equivalent to fūt- (akin to fundere to pour, melt) + -ilis -ile

futilely, adverb
futileness, noun
nonfutile, adjective
unfutile, adjective

1. See useless.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
futile (ˈfjuːtaɪl)
1.  having no effective result; unsuccessful
2.  pointless; unimportant; trifling
3.  inane or foolish: don't be so futile!
[C16: from Latin futtilis pouring out easily, worthless, from fundere to pour out]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1550s, from M.Fr. futile, from L. futilis "vain, worthless, futile," lit. "pouring out easily" (of a vessel), hence "easily emptied, leaky, unreliable," from base of fundere "pour, melt," from PIE *gheu- "to pour" (see found (2)). Related: Futilely.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Money corrupts everything and attempts to change this fall futilely to the
Lifeboats were still hanging lopsidedly and futilely from the davits.
They waited futilely on the beach, tinkering and still hopeful.
They desperately sought medical advice and futilely tried out every known
  treatment available.
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