Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1500-1600
Language: Latin
Origin: futilis 'that pours out easily, useless'

futile

adjective
     
fu‧tile
actions that are futile are useless because they have no chance of being successful [= pointless]
a futile attempt/effort
a futile attempt to save the paintings from the flames
My efforts to go back to sleep proved futile.
It was futile to continue the negotiations.
futility noun [uncountable]
This sums up Owen's thoughts on the futility of war.

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