Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The quality of having no useful result; uselessness.
  • noun Lack of importance or purpose; frivolousness.
  • noun A futile act.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The quality or character of being futile
  • noun The qnality of producing no valuable effect; uselessness; triflingness; unimportance; want of weight or result: as, the futility of measures or schemes; to expose the futility of arguments.
  • noun Synonyms Nouns formed from adjectives under futile.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete The quality of being talkative; talkativeness; loquaciousness; loquacity.
  • noun The quality of producing no valuable effect, or of coming to nothing; uselessness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable The quality of being futile or useless.
  • noun countable Something, especially an act, that is futile.
  • noun uncountable Unimportance.

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

  • noun uselessness as a consequence of having no practical result

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

futile +‎ -ity

Examples

  • No the whole point of this little exercise in futility is to be able to point at this legislation and claim some credit for “protecting ppl from net nasties” with whichever special interest group the pollie or bureacrat is currently trying to curry favour with.

    Outlaw ‘extreme porn’: UK

  • (Telling a bookstore employee that a book is on the wrong shelf is generally an exercise in futility, so I would have had to go for it alone.)

    June « 2010 « Haikasoru: Space Opera. Dark Fantasy. Hard Science.

  • I quit doing that, it was an exercise in futility, and it seemed that many Mexicans wanted to steal an Alaska license plate as a souvenir.

    Page 2

  • I quit doing that, it was an exercise in futility, and it seemed that many Mexicans wanted to steal an Alaska license plate as a souvenir.

    Page 2

  • I quit doing that, it was an exercise in futility, and it seemed that many Mexicans wanted to steal an Alaska license plate as a souvenir.

    Page 2

  • (Telling a bookstore employee that a book is on the wrong shelf is generally an exercise in futility, so I would have had to go for it alone.)

    It’s a mystery? « Haikasoru: Space Opera. Dark Fantasy. Hard Science.

  • This sense of futility is what makes the project we're sharing with you today so interesting.

    Boing Boing

  • I quit doing that, it was an exercise in futility, and it seemed that many Mexicans wanted to steal an Alaska license plate as a souvenir.

    Page 2

  • Some people think they can use drugs to fix these genetic defectives, but that's obviously an exercise in futility – you can't overcome something that's embedded in every cell in your body.

    Child Abuse Alert

  • When will he realize that futility is the act of making the same mistakes over and over again yet expecting a different result?

    Is John Donahoe Finally Turning eBay Around?

Comments

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  • You must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Ephesians 4:17-18.

    July 16, 2011