adjective ef·fec·tive \i-ˈfek-tiv, e-, ē-, ə-\

: producing a result that is wanted : having an intended effect

of a law, rule, etc. : in use

: starting at a particular time

Full Definition of EFFECTIVE

a :  producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect <an effective policy>
b :  impressive, striking <a gold lamé fabric studded with effective…precious stones — Stanley Marcus>
:  ready for service or action <effective manpower>
:  actual <the need to increase effective demand for goods>
:  being in effect :  operative <the tax becomes effective next year>
of a rate of interest :  equal to the rate of simple interest that yields the same amount when the interest is paid once at the end of the interest period as a quoted rate of interest does when calculated at compound interest over the same period — compare nominal 4
ef·fec·tive·ness noun
ef·fec·tiv·i·ty \ˌe-ˌfek-ˈti-və-tē, i-, ē-, ə-\ noun

Examples of EFFECTIVE

  1. It's a simple but effective technique.
  2. He gave an effective speech.
  3. These commercials were extremely effective as marketing tools, but we now know that chocolate swimming pools and candy-coating showers play no part in the manufacture of real M&M's. Instead, the ellipsoid chocolate centers of plain M&M's are formed by machines. —David Owen, Atlantic, October 1988


(see 1effect)
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of EFFECTIVE

effective, effectual, efficient, efficacious mean producing or capable of producing a result. effective stresses the actual production of or the power to produce an effect <an effective rebuttal>. effectual suggests the accomplishment of a desired result especially as viewed after the fact <the measures to stop the pilfering proved effectual>. efficient suggests an acting or a potential for action or use in such a way as to avoid loss or waste of energy in effecting, producing, or functioning <an efficient small car>. efficacious suggests possession of a special quality or virtue that gives effective power <a detergent that is efficacious in removing grease>.


noun ef·fec·tive \i-ˈfek-tiv, e-, ē-, ə-\

Definition of EFFECTIVE

:  one that is effective (see 1effective); especially :  a soldier equipped for duty


(see 1effect)
First Known Use: 1722


adjective ef·fec·tive \i-ˈfek-tiv\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of EFFECTIVE

:  producing a decided, decisive, claimed, or desired effect <a drug judged effective by an evaluating panel>
ef·fec·tive·ly adverb
ef·fec·tive·ness noun


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