General English



  • noun an activity that requires physical or mental effort or practice


  • To execute the terms of a contract. See option.

Information & Library Science

  • noun a short piece of work designed to help you learn something


  • noun the use of powers, skills or official rights
  • verb to use or to put something into practice


  • noun physical or mental activity, especially the active use of the muscles as a way of keeping fit, correcting a deformity or strengthening a part
  • noun a particular movement or action designed to use and strengthen the muscles
  • verb to take exercise, or exert part of the body in exercise


  • noun an act of practising the skills that a unit or sub-unit will be required to carry out on operational service
  • noun a physical activity designed to improve or maintain fitness


  • noun the use of a power
  • noun a test or trial to get experience or information


  • verb to undertake physical exercise in order to keep fit and healthy
  • verb to subject the body, or part of it, to repetitive physical exertion or energetic movement in order to strengthen it or improve its condition

Origin & History of “exercise”

The notion underlying exercise is of ‘removal of restraint’. It comes ultimately from Latin exercēre, a compound verb formed from the prefix ex- ‘out of, from’ and arcēre ‘restrain, enclose’ (source of English arcane and related to English ark). It has been speculated that this originally denoted the driving of draught animals out into the fields to plough, but however that may be, it soon developed the general senses ‘set to work, keep at work’ and ‘drill, practise’ which form the semantic basis of English exercise.