fruitless refers to something that does not produce the desired or expected results, outcomes, or benefits. It implies a lack of success, achievement, or productivity.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



futile, unsuccessful, unproductive, in vain, barren, pointless, unavailing, ineffectual, vain


fruitful, successful, productive, effective, beneficial, rewarding, valuable, profitable

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun fruitlessness, fruitlessnesses
Verb None
Adjective fruitless
Adverb fruitlessly

Example Sentences

  • Despite their best efforts, the rescue team’s search for the missing hiker proved fruitless after days of exhaustive searching.

  • The negotiations between the two countries were fruitless, resulting in no progress or resolution to the ongoing conflict.

  • Jane spent hours trying to fix her computer, but her attempts were fruitless as it continued to malfunction.

  • John’s attempts to convince his parents to let him go on a road trip with his friends proved fruitless, as they were firm in their decision to keep him at home.


The word “fruitless” is derived from the combination of the prefix “fruit-” and the suffix “-less.” The root of the word, “fruit,” comes from Old French “fruit” and Latin “fructus,” which refer to the produce of plants, typically edible and associated with the concept of growth and abundance. The suffix “-less” is used to form adjectives that indicate the absence or lack of something.

The term “fruitless” has been used in the English language since the 15th century, and it is commonly employed to describe situations or endeavors that do not yield the desired outcomes or results. It conveys a sense of disappointment, futility, or lack of success. The word is often used figuratively to describe actions, efforts, or pursuits that are deemed to be unproductive, ineffective, or futile.

For example, when someone invests considerable time and energy into a project that ultimately does not lead to any tangible benefits or positive outcomes, it can be described as a fruitless endeavor. Similarly, when a discussion or negotiation fails to reach a satisfactory resolution or agreement, it can be deemed fruitless.

The usage of “fruitless” is not limited to describing material or tangible outcomes. It can also be used to express emotional or psychological states. For instance, someone might feel that their attempts to connect with a distant family member are fruitless, indicating a sense of disappointment and lack of progress in establishing a meaningful relationship.

In summary, “fruitless” is a word that conveys the idea of things that do not bear the expected results or outcomes. It emphasizes the absence of success, productivity, or achievement. Its usage in various contexts reflects the underlying desire for growth, abundance, and positive outcomes that are unfulfilled or unattainable.