The act of exercising; a setting in action or practicing; employment in the proper mode of activity; exertion; application; use; habitual activity; occupation, in general; practice.
- An act of employing or putting into play; use: the free exercise of intellect; the exercise of an option.
- The discharge of a duty, function, or office.
- Activity that requires physical or mental exertion, especially when performed to develop or maintain fitness: took an hour of vigorous daily exercise at a gym.
- A task, problem, or other effort performed to develop or maintain fitness or increase skill: a piano exercise; a memory exercise.
- An activity having a specified aspect: an undertaking that was an exercise in futility.
- A program that includes speeches, presentations, and other ceremonial activities performed before an audience: graduation exercises.
- To put into play or operation; employ: Proceed, but exercise caution.
- To bring to bear; exert: "The desire to be re-elected exercises a strong brake on independent courage” ( John F. Kennedy).
- To subject to practice or exertion in order to train, strengthen, or develop: exercise the back muscles; exercise the memory.
- To put through exercises: exercise a platoon. See Synonyms at practice.
- To carry out the functions of: exercise the role of disciplinarian.
- To execute the terms of (a stock option, for example).
- To absorb the attentions of, especially by worry or anxiety.
- To stir to anger or alarm; upset: an injustice that exercised the whole community.
- To take exercise.