Futile vs feudal

Photo of author


Futile and feudal are are two commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the different meanings of the homophonic words futile and feudal, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Futile is an adjective that describes something that is purposeless, ineffective, or pointless. The adverb form is futilely and the noun form is futility. The word futile is derived from the Latin word futilis, meaning in vain or worthless.

Feudal is an adjective that describes something related to the medieval feudalism system in which landholders provided land to cultivate and protection to vassals in exchange for a share of the vassals’ income and their military loyalty. Feudal is often used in a broader sense to describe something that is outdated or old-fashioned. The word feudal is derived from the basic medieval word feud, which was an estate; the term was derived from the Latin word feudum, which means land grant.


“First of all, that is futile, as a reliable and sustainable resolution of problems is possible only through agreements between all parties involved, while the entire current logic of the US policy is set on making Iran the focus of all containment and punishment efforts, with regime change being presented as the only thing that would let the whole region breathe freely,” Lavrov said, stressing, “That is a dead end.” (Mehr News Agency)

“We will not engage in a futile exercise aimed at diverting the attention of management and key resources from our business operations while creating friction among our stakeholders,” he said. (Bloomberg News)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed “feudal” customs and the “red beacon culture” to transform governance which perturbed those who regarded “circumambulation in the corridors of power” as their strength, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Friday. (The Tribune India)

But in a new revelation, an experience in Japan has now just come to light, offering visitors the opportunity to stay at the historic Ozu Castle, the historic site once inhabited by feudal warlords hundreds of years ago. (GQ Australia Magazine)

Here are some other idioms we covered: