Definition of exercise verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    exercise

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈeksəsaɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈeksərsaɪz//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they exercise
    BrE BrE//ˈeksəsaɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈeksərsaɪz//
     
    he / she / it exercises
    BrE BrE//ˈeksəsaɪzɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈeksərsaɪzɪz//
     
    past simple exercised
    BrE BrE//ˈeksəsaɪzd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈeksərsaɪzd//
     
    past participle exercised
    BrE BrE//ˈeksəsaɪzd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈeksərsaɪzd//
     
    -ing form exercising
    BrE BrE//ˈeksəsaɪzɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈeksərsaɪzɪŋ//
     
    Exercise
     
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    use power/right/quality
  1. 1  [transitive] exercise something (formal) to use your power, rights or personal qualities in order to achieve something When she appeared in court she exercised her right to remain silent. He was a man who exercised considerable influence over people.
  2. do physical activity
  3. 2  [intransitive, transitive] to do sports or other physical activities in order to stay healthy or become stronger; to make an animal do this an hour’s class of exercising to music How often do you exercise? exercise something Horses need to be exercised regularly. See related entries: Exercise
  4. 3[transitive] exercise something to give a part of the body the movement and activity it needs to keep strong and healthy These movements will exercise your arms and shoulders. See related entries: Exercise
  5. be anxious
  6. 4[usually passive] exercise somebody/something (about something) (formal) if somebody is exercised about something, they are very anxious about it The public are less exercised about this matter than the media. This very problem has exercised the minds of some of our most eminent scientists.
  7. Word Origin Middle English (in the sense ‘application of a right’): via Old French from Latin exercitium, from exercere ‘keep busy, practise’, from ex- ‘thoroughly’ + arcere ‘keep in or away’.Extra examples Each of us has a vote—if we choose to exercise it. It is necessary to exercise caution when making recommendations. Managers are free to exercise their discretion in these cases. The all-powerful steering committee continued to exercise control. The company’s representative failed to exercise due care. They found themselves unable to exercise influence and maintain independence. They have the right to exercise self-determination. the conditions necessary to fully exercise these rights the purposes for which power can be rightfully exercised the right to freely exercise your religion Care must be exercised to ensure there is no cross-contamination between samples. I’ve just done an hour’s class of exercising to music.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: exercise