exercise (ĕkʹsər-sīz) noun
1. An act of employing or putting into play; use: the free exercise of intellect; the exercise of an option.
2. The discharge of a duty, function, or office.
3. 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.
4. A task, problem, or other effort performed to develop or maintain fitness or increase skill: a piano exercise; a memory exercise.
5. exercises A program that includes speeches, presentations, and other ceremonial activities performed before an audience: graduation exercises.
exercised, exercising, exercises
1. To put into play or operation; employ: Proceed, but exercise caution.
2. To bring to bear; exert: "The desire to be re-elected exercises a strong brake on independent courage" (John F. Kennedy).
3. a. To subject to practice or exertion in order to train, strengthen, or develop: exercise the back muscles; exercise the memory. b. To put through exercises: exercise a platoon. See synonyms at practice.
4. To carry out the functions of; execute: exercise the role of disciplinarian.
5. a. To absorb the attentions of, especially by worry or anxiety. b. To stir to anger or alarm; upset: an injustice that exercised the whole community.
To take exercise.
[Middle English, from Old French exercice, from Latin exercitium, from exercitus past participle of exercēre, to exercise : ex-, ex- + arcēre, to restrain.]