1. 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. exercise of the important function confided by the constitution to the legislature. (Jefferson) O we will walk this world, Yoked in all exercise of noble end. (Tennyson)
2. Exertion for the sake of training or improvement whether physical, intellectual, or moral; practice to acquire skill, knowledge, virtue, perfectness, grace, etc. Desire of knightly exercise. An exercise of the eyes and memory. (Locke)
3. Bodily exertion for the sake of keeping the organs and functions in a healthy state; hygienic activity; as, to take exercise ob horseback. The wise for cure on exercise depend. (Dryden)
4. The performance of an office, a ceremony, or a religious duty. Lewis refused even those of the church of England . . . The public exercise of their religion. (Addison) To draw him from his holy exercise. (Shak)
5. That which is done for the sake of exercising, practicing, training, or promoting skill, health, mental, improvement, moral discipline, etc.; that which is assigned or prescribed for such ebbs; hence, a disquisition; a lesson; a task; as, military or naval exercises; musical exercises; an exercise in composition. ”The clumsy exercises of th
e European tourney. (Prescott) He seems to have taken a degree, and preformed public exercises in Cambridge, in 1565.” (Brydges)
6. That which gives practice; a trial; a test. ”Patience is more oft the exercise Of saints, the trial of their fortitude.
(Science: medicine)” (Milton) exercise bone, a deposit of bony matter in the soft tissues, produced by pressure or exertion.
Origin: f. Exercice, L. Exercitium, from exercere, exercitum, to drive on, keep, busy, prob. Orig, to thrust or drive out of the inclosure; ex out – arcere to shut up, inclose. See ark.