futile


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futile

adjective abortive, barren, bootless, feckless, gainless, hopeless, inanis, ineffective, ineffectual, inefficacious, insignificant, inutile, nugatory, otiose, profitless, resultless, unavailing, unfruitful, unimportant, unproductive, unprofitable, unsubstantial, unsuccessful, useless, vain, vanus, wasted, worthless
Associated concepts: failure to exhaust a futile remedy
Foreign phrases: Lex neminem cogit ad vana seu inutilia peragenda.The law compels no one to do futile or useless things. Lex nil facit frustra, nil jubet frustra. The law does not do anything nor commands anyone to do anything which would be futile.
See also: expendable, idle, ineffectual, invalid, minor, needless, nugatory, otiose, powerless, unavailing, unproductive
References in classic literature ?
In fact he could do nothing but make a wild and futile attempt to dislodge me.
To have counseled the boy to retreat now would have been futile, and Akut knew it.
I wasted some time in futile questionings, conveyed, as well as I was able, to such of the little people as came by.
I had been tracked by a customs-officer, who had lost sight of me near the tavern; feeling certain that I intended to pass the night there, he had returned to summon his comrades, who just arrived in time to hear the report of the pistol, and to take me in the midst of such circumstantial proofs of my guilt as rendered all hopes of proving my innocence utterly futile.
They clamored at each other, numbers making futile bids for the pop- ular attention.
Greetings over, I stumbled out something about Emelia Ivanovitch and forty roubles, and then came to a dead halt, for his eyes told me that my errand had been futile.
After two hours of futile, light-headed, inconsequent thinking upon all things under heaven in that dark, dank, wet and devastated cabin, I arose suddenly and staggered up on deck.
And when he ceased, all I found was a futile whisper: "So you swam for our light?
Sylvie looked calmly pleased, Eulalie swelled like an incensed turkey, but the mutiny was quelled: the conceited coquetry and futile flirtation of the first bench were exchanged for a taciturn sullenness, much more convenient to me, and the rest of my lesson passed without interruption.
The valley was now before us; but instead of being conducted into its smiling bosom by the gradual descent of the deep watercourse we had thus far pursued, all our labours now appeared to have been rendered futile by its abrupt termination.
Edwards was not slow in feeling the conviction that this hope was also futile, and, with a kind of feverish despair that still urged him to action, he turned to some new expedient.
I always thought we should get something like this from him, for I always looked upon him as a futile, frivolous fellow who gave himself unconscionable airs on the fact of his being a general (though he only became one because he retired as a colonel).