American English

Definition of exercise noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable] physical or mental activity that you do to stay healthy or become stronger Swimming is good exercise. I don't get much exercise sitting in the office all day. The mind needs exercise as well as the body. vigorous/gentle exercise Topic CollocationsDiet and Exerciseweight put on/gain/lose weight/a few pounds watch/control/struggle with your weight be/become seriously overweight/underweight be/become clinically/morbidly obese achieve/facilitate/promote/stimulate weight loss slim down to 160 pounds combat/prevent/tackle/treat obesity develop/have/suffer from/struggle with/recover from anorexia/bulimia/an eating disorder be on/go on/follow a crash/strict diet have/suffer from a negative/distorted body image have/develop a positive/healthy/realistic body imagehealthy eating eat a balanced diet/healthily/well get/provide/receive adequate/proper nutrition contain/get/provide essential nutrients/vitamins/minerals be high/low in calories/fat/fiber/protein/vitamin D/Omega-3 fatty acids/trans-fats contain (no)/use/be full of/be free from additives/chemical preservatives/artificial sweeteners/high-fructose corn syrup avoid/cut down on/cut out alcohol/caffeine/fatty foods stop/quit smokingexercise get regular exercise do moderate/strenuous/vigorous exercise play football/hockey/tennis/soccer go jogging/running go to/visit/hit/work out at the gym strengthen/tone/train your stomach muscles contract/relax/stretch/use/work your lower-body muscles build (up)/gain muscle improve/increase your stamina/energy levels/physical fitness burn/consume/expend caloriesstaying healthy be/get/keep/stay healthy/in shape lower your cholesterol/blood pressure boost/stimulate/strengthen your immune system prevent/reduce the risk of heart disease/high blood pressure/diabetes/osteoporosis reduce/relieve/manage/combat stress enhance/promote relaxation/physical and mental well-being
  2. 2[countable] a set of movements or activities that you do to stay healthy or develop a skill breathing/relaxation/stretching exercises exercises for the piano Repeat the exercise ten times on each leg.
  3. questions
  4. 3[countable] a set of questions in a book that tests your knowledge or practices a skill grammar exercises Do exercise one for homework.
  5. use of power/right/quality
  6. 4[uncountable] exercise of something (formal) the use of power, a skill, a quality, or a right to make something happen the exercise of power by the government the exercise of discretion
  7. for particular result
  8. 5[countable] an activity that is designed to achieve a particular result a communications exercise In the end it proved a pointless exercise. exercise in something an exercise in public relations Staying calm was an exercise in self-control.
  9. for soldiers
  10. 6[countable, usually plural] a set of activities for training soldiers military exercises
  11. ceremonies
  12. 7exercises [plural] ceremonies college graduation exercises
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: exercise