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The current version of the vocabulary builder covers over 2720 words & is useful for students preparing for academic English examinations such as SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc. Now you can also listen to the pronunciation of words. - Refer a Friend.


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futile (adj) unsuccessful; useless.

A futile attempt is an unsuccessful attempt. A futile effort is a useless effort that does not yield the result desired. It is futile to argue with a person if they refuse to listen to you. That is, it is useless arguing with a person who does not listen to you. A futile search is a useless search. It does not help you to trace the thing you are searching for.

  • Jerry's attempts to concentrate on his assignment were futile as he could not get off from his mind the charming picture of Jenny, whom he had met that evening. He put off his assignment to the next morning.
  • Kenny's efforts to persuade his father to let him join the armed forces were futile as his father would not let him leave home for any reason. So Kenny had to seek a job in a local company.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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