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[froot-lis] /ˈfrut lɪs/
useless; unproductive; without results or success:
a fruitless search for the missing treasure.
bearing no fruit; barren.
Origin of fruitless
1300-50; Middle English; see fruit, -less
Related forms
fruitlessly, adverb
fruitlessness, noun
1. futile, unavailing, vain. 2. sterile.
1. useful, profitable. 2. fertile. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fruitless
  • Protests that the evidence against him was flawed proved fruitless.
  • Often those lines of reasoning that seem promising to one expert look obviously fruitless to another.
  • But his career fizzled with a succession of fruitless auditions, dwindling freelance gigs and mounting debt.
  • One cannot help but wonder why he wastes his time on such a meaningless and fruitless endeavor.
  • Initially, the crew tried to carry out this operation by helicopter, but two efforts were fruitless.
  • The amount of likely fruitless speculations is downright depressing.
  • Many if not all of these behaviors are controlled by specific genes, chiefly two known as fruitless and dissatisfaction.
  • The pursuit of socialist equality by spending had proved as fruitless as by common ownership.
  • The majority of the sighs occurred in the breaks between fruitless attempts at solving the puzzles.
  • Which means honest-to-goodness energy weapons might actually become a military reality, after decades of fruitless searching.
British Dictionary definitions for fruitless


yielding nothing or nothing of value; unproductive; ineffectual
without fruit
Derived Forms
fruitlessly, adverb
fruitlessness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fruitless

mid-14c., "unprofitable," from fruit + -less. Meaning "barren, sterile" is from 1510s. Related: Fruitlessly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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