effete


ef·fete

adjective \e-ˈfēt, i-\

: lacking strength, courage, or spirit

: resembling a woman

Full Definition of EFFETE

1
:  no longer fertile
2
a :  having lost character, vitality, or strength <the effete monarchies … of feudal Europe — G. M. Trevelyan>
b :  marked by weakness or decadence <the effete East>
c :  soft or delicate from or as if from a pampered existence <peddled … trendy tweeds to effete Easterners — William Helmer> <effete tenderfeet>; also :  characteristic of an effete person <a wool scarf … a bit effete on an outdoorsman — Nelson Bryant>
3
:  effeminate 1 <a good-humored, effete boy brought up by maiden aunts — Herman Wouk>
ef·fete·ly adverb
ef·fete·ness noun

Examples of EFFETE

  1. effete members of the aristocracy
  2. <the soft, effete society that marked the final years of the Roman empire>

Origin of EFFETE

Latin effetus, from ex- + fetus fruitful — more at feminine
First Known Use: 1660

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: efficacious
Previous Word in the Dictionary: effervescible
All Words Near: effete

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up effete? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).