Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “futile”

See all translations

futile

adjective uk   /ˈfjuː.taɪl/ us    /-t̬əl/
(of actions) having no effect or achieving nothing: Attempts to get supplies to the region are futile because troops will not allow the aid convoy to enter the city. It's quite futile trying to reason with him - he just won't listen. All my attempts to cheer her up proved futile.
futility
noun [U] uk   /fjuːˈtɪl.ɪ.ti/ us    /-t̬i/
"What's his latest book about?" "Oh, the usual - the transience of love and the futility of life."
Translations of “futile”
in Korean 헛된…
in Arabic عَقيم…
in French futile…
in Turkish nafile, boşuna, yersiz…
in Italian vano, inutile…
in Chinese (Traditional) (行動)無作用的, 無效的, 不成功的…
in Russian бесполезный, тщетный…
in Polish daremny, beznadziejny…
in Spanish fútil, vano, inútil…
in Portuguese inútil…
in German nutzlos…
in Catalan inútil…
in Japanese 無駄な…
in Chinese (Simplified) (行动)无作用的, 无效的, 不成功的…
(Definition of futile from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of futile?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “futile” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

christmassy

typical of Christmas, or happy because it is Christmas

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

tweleb noun

December 22, 2014
informal a Twitter celebrity; (more specifically, someone who has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter) There were a few old and a few new faces, including a tweleb or two. Expect to see and hear more from these cool kids.

Read More