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Webster 1913 Edition


Effective

Ef-fect′ive

,
Adj.
[L.
effectivus
: cf. F.
effectif
.]
Having the power to produce an effect or effects; producing a decided or decisive effect; efficient; serviceable; operative;
as, an
effective
force, remedy, speech; the
effective
men in a regiment.
They are not
effective
of anything, nor leave no work behind them.
Bacon.
Syn. – Efficient; forcible; active; powerful; energetic; competent. See
Effectual
.

Ef-fect′ive

,
Noun.
1.
That which produces a given effect; a cause.
Jer. Taylor.
2.
One who is capable of active service.
He assembled his army – 20,000
effectives
– at Corinth.
W. P. Johnston.
3.
[F.
effectif
real, effective, real amount.]
(Com.)
Specie or coin, as distinguished from paper currency; – a term used in many parts of Europe.
Simmonds.

Webster 1828 Edition


Effective

EFFECT'IVE

,
Adj.
Having the power to cause or produce; efficacious.
They are not effective of any thing.
1.
Operative; active; having the quality of producing effects.
Time is not effective,nor are bodies destroyed by it.
2.
Efficient; causing to be; as an effective cause.
3.
Having the power of active operation; able; as effective men in any army; an effective force.

Definition 2023


effective

effective

English

Adjective

effective (comparative more effective, superlative most effective)

  1. Having the power to produce a required effect or effects.
    The pill is an effective method of birth control.
  2. Producing a decided or decisive effect.
    The president delivered an effective speech!
    • Jeremy Taylor
      Whosoever is an effective, real cause of doing his neighbour wrong, is criminal.
  3. Efficient, serviceable, or operative, available for useful work.
    How long does it take to make a bunch of civilians an effective military force?
    My effective income after taxes and child support is $500 a month.
    The effective radiated power is determined by multiplying the transmitter power output with the antenna gain.
    The effective voltage of an alternating current is 0.7 times its peak voltage.
  4. Actually in effect.
    The curfew is effective at midnight.
  5. (geometry, of a cycle or divisor) Having no negative coefficients.
Usage notes

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary from 1913 still lists efficient and effective as synonyms, but all major dictionaries now show that these words now only have different meanings in careful use. Use of both for the other meaning is however widespread enough that Longman's Exam Dictionary, for example, finds it necessary to proscribe the use of one for the other with several examples at each entry and provides the following summary:

  • efficient = working quickly and without waste
  • effective = having the desired effect

Related terms

Translations

Noun

effective (plural effectives)

  1. (military) A soldier fit for duty.

French

Adjective

effective

  1. feminine singular of effectif

Latin

Adjective

effectīve

  1. vocative masculine singular of effectīvus