bodily or mental exertion, especially for the sake of training or improvement of health: Walking is good exercise.
something done or performed as a means of practice or training: exercises for the piano.
a putting into action, use, operation, or effect: the exercise of caution.
a written composition, musical piece, or artistic work executed for practice or to illustrate a particular aspect of technique.
Often, exercises. a traditional ceremony: graduation exercises.
a religious observance or service.
verb (used with object), exercised, exercising.
to put through exercises, or forms of practice or exertion, designed to train, develop, condition, or the like: to exercise a horse.
to put (faculties, rights, etc.) into action, practice, or use: to exercise freedom of speech.
to use or display in one's action or procedure: to exercise judgment.
to make use of (one's privileges, powers, etc.): to exercise one's constitutional rights.
to discharge (a function); perform: to exercise the duties of one's office.
to have as an effect: to exercise an influence on someone.
to worry; make uneasy; annoy: to be much exercised about one's health.
verb (used without object), exercised, exercising.
to go through exercises; take bodily exercise.

1300–50; Middle English (noun) < Middle French exercice < Latin exercitium, equivalent to exercit(us) past participle of exercēre to train (ex- ex-1 + -ercit-, stem of combining form of arcēre to restrain) + -ium noun suffix

exercisable, adjective
nonexercisable, adjective
nonexercise, noun
overexercise, verb, overexercised, overexercising.
postexercise, adjective
reexercise, verb, reexercised, reexercising.
underexercise, verb (used without object), underexercised, underexercising.
unexercisable, adjective
unexercised, adjective
well-exercised, adjective

exercise, exorcise (see synonym study at the current entry).

1. activity; calisthenics, gymnastics. 2. Exercise, drill, practice refer to activities undertaken for training in some skill. Exercise is the most general term and may be either physical or mental: an exercise in arithmetic. Drill is disciplined repetition of set exercises, often performed in a group, directed by a leader: military drill. Practice is repeated or methodical exercise: Even great musicians require constant practice. 3. employment, application, practice, performance. 6. ritual. 7. discipline, drill, school. 9. employ, apply, exert, practice. 13. try, trouble.

1. inaction. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
exercise (ˈɛksəˌsaɪz)
1.  to put into use; employ: to exercise tact
2.  (intr) to take exercise or perform exercises; exert one's muscles, etc, esp in order to keep fit
3.  to practise using in order to develop or train: to exercise one's voice
4.  to perform or make proper use of: to exercise one's rights
5.  to bring to bear; exert: to exercise one's influence
6.  (often passive) to occupy the attentions of, esp so as to worry or vex: to be exercised about a decision
7.  military to carry out or cause to carry out, manoeuvres, simulated combat operations, etc
8.  physical exertion, esp for the purpose of development, training, or keeping fit
9.  mental or other activity or practice, esp in order to develop a skill
10.  a set of movements, questions, tasks, etc, designed to train, improve, or test one's ability in a particular field: piano exercises
11.  a performance or work of art done as practice or to demonstrate a technique
12.  the performance of a function; discharge: the exercise of one's rights; the object of the exercise is to win
13.  (sometimes plural) military a manoeuvre or simulated combat operation carried out for training and evaluation
14.  (US), (Canadian) (usually plural) a ceremony or formal routine, esp at a school or college: opening exercises; graduation exercises
15.  gymnastics a particular type of event, such as performing on the horizontal bar
[C14: from Old French exercice, from Latin exercitium, from exercēre to drill, from ex-1 + arcēre to ward off]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

mid-14c., "condition of being in active operation," from O.Fr. exercice, from L. exercitium, from exercitare, frequentative of exercere "keep busy, drive on," lit. "remove restraint," from ex- "off" + arcere "keep away, prevent, enclose," from PIE *ark- "to hold, contain, guard" (see
arcane). Original sense may have been driving farm animals to the field to plow; meaning "physical activity" first recorded in English late 14c. The ending was abstracted for formations such as dancercise (1967); jazzercise (1977); and boxercise (1985).

late 14c., from exercise (n.); originally "to make use of;" also in regard to mental and spiritual training; sense of "engage in physical activity" is from 1650s. Related: Exercised; exercises; exercising.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

exercise ex·er·cise (ěk'sər-sīz')
Active bodily exertion performed to develop or maintain fitness.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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