fu·tile: adjective \ˈfyü-təl, ˈfyü-ˌtī(-ə)l\
Full Definition of FUTILE
1: serving no useful purpose : completely ineffective <efforts to convince him were futile>
Examples of FUTILE
- All our efforts proved futile.
- a futile and foolish gesture
- In a digitized land of national ID cards, dropping out will be impossible, and dreaming about it will be futile. —Walter Kirn, Atlantic, May 2002
Origin of FUTILE
Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin futilis brittle, pointless, probably from fu- (akin to fundere to pour) — more at found
First Known Use: circa 1555
Related to FUTILE
- abortive, barren, bootless, empty, fruitless, ineffective, ineffectual, inefficacious, otiose, profitless, unavailing, unproductive, unprofitable, unsuccessful, useless, vain, in vain, no dice, not worth the candle, of no avail
Synonym Discussion of FUTILE
futile, vain, fruitless mean producing no result. futile may connote completeness of failure or unwisdom of undertaking <resistance had proved so futile that surrender was the only choice left>. vain usually implies simple failure to achieve a desired result <a vain attempt to get the car started>. fruitless comes close to vain but often suggests long and arduous effort or severe disappointment <fruitless efforts to obtain a lasting peace>.