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The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Exercise \Ex"er*cise\, n. [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.] 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. [1913 Webster] exercise of the important function confided by the constitution to the legislature. --Jefferson. [1913 Webster] O we will walk this world, Yoked in all exercise of noble end. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster] 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." --Spenser. [1913 Webster] An exercise of the eyes and memory. --Locke. [1913 Webster] 3. Bodily exertion for the sake of keeping the organs and functions in a healthy state; hygienic activity; as, to take exercise on horseback; to exercise on a treadmill or in a gym. [1913 Webster +PJC] The wise for cure on exercise depend. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] 4. The performance of an office, a ceremony, or a religious duty. [1913 Webster] Lewis refused even those of the church of England . . . the public exercise of their religion. --Addison. [1913 Webster] To draw him from his holy exercise. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 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 ends; hence, a disquisition; a lesson; a task; as, military or naval exercises; musical exercises; an exercise in composition; arithmetic exercises. [1913 Webster] The clumsy exercises of the European tourney. --Prescott. [1913 Webster] He seems to have taken a degree, and performed public exercises in Cambridge, in 1565. --Brydges. [1913 Webster] 6. That which gives practice; a trial; a test. [1913 Webster] Patience is more oft the exercise Of saints, the trial of their fortitude. --Milton. [1913 Webster] Exercise bone (Med.), a deposit of bony matter in the soft tissues, produced by pressure or exertion. [1913 Webster]