from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having no useful result.
  • adj. Trifling and frivolous; idle: the futile years after her artistic peak.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Incapable of producing results; useless; not successful; not worth attempting.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Talkative; loquacious; tattling.
  • adj. Of no importance; answering no useful end; useless; vain; worthless.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Frivolous; merely loquacious.
  • Of no effect; answering no valuable purpose; useless; ineffective; trifling: as, futile efforts; futile prattle.
  • Synonyms Trivial, frivolous, unimportant, useless, bootless, unavailing, profitless, vain, idle.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. producing no result or effect
  • adj. unproductive of success


Latin fūtilis; see gheu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin fūtilis. (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Confucious say, futile not enough to fix roof.

    March 22, 2011

  • Trivial, useless, fruitless
    Comparison is futile.
    In a world where comparisons happen non-stop, it is difficult to look outside
    yourself and to ever be content with who you are. There's always someone who's a
    tad bit better.
    Source: for Make It Happen

    March 22, 2011