effect


1ef·fect

noun \i-ˈfekt, e-, ē-, ə-\

: a change that results when something is done or happens : an event, condition, or state of affairs that is produced by a cause

: a particular feeling or mood created by something

: an image or a sound that is created in television, radio, or movies to imitate something real

Full Definition of EFFECT

1
a :  purport, intent
b :  basic meaning :  essence
2
:  something that inevitably follows an antecedent (as a cause or agent)
3
:  an outward sign :  appearance
5
:  power to bring about a result :  influence <the content itself of television … is therefore less important than its effectCurrent Biography>
6
plural :  movable property :  goods <personal effects>
7
a :  a distinctive impression <the color gives the effect of being warm>
b :  the creation of a desired impression <her tears were purely for effect>
c (1) :  something designed to produce a distinctive or desired impression —usually used in plural
(2) plural :  special effects
8
:  the quality or state of being operative :  operation <the law goes into effect next week>
in effect
:  in substance :  virtually <the … committee agreed to what was in effect a reduction in the hourly wage — Current Biography>
to the effect
:  with the meaning <issued a statement to the effect that he would resign>

Examples of EFFECT

  1. He now needs more of the drug to achieve the same effect.
  2. The experience has had a bad effect on him.
  3. Computers have had a profound effect on our lives.
  4. The effects of the drug soon wore off.
  5. This treatment causes fewer ill effects.
  6. The change in policy had little effect on most people.
  7. He was able to stop taking the drug without ill effect.
  8. The total effect of the painting was one of gloom.
  9. The color gives the effect of being warm.
  10. He achieves amazing effects with wood.
  11. The nation's most solvent individuals—private-equity barons—have not been immune from the ill effects of the credit crunch. —Daniel Gross, Newsweek, 3 Mar. 2008

Origin of EFFECT

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin effectus, from efficere to bring about, from ex- + facere to make, do — more at do
First Known Use: 14th century

2ef·fect

verb \i-ˈfekt, e-, ē-, ə-\

: to cause (something) : to make (something) happen

: to cause (something) to produce the desired result

Full Definition of EFFECT

transitive verb
1
:  to cause to come into being
2
a :  to bring about often by surmounting obstacles :  accomplish <effect a settlement of a dispute>
b :  to put into operation <the duty of the legislature to effect the will of the citizens>

Usage Discussion of EFFECT

Effect and affect are often confused because of their similar spelling and pronunciation. The verb 2affect usually has to do with pretense <she affected a cheery disposition despite feeling down>. The more common 3affect denotes having an effect or influence <the weather affected everyone's mood>. The verb effect goes beyond mere influence; it refers to actual achievement of a final result <the new administration hopes to effect a peace settlement>. The uncommon noun affect, which has a meaning relating to psychology, is also sometimes mistakenly used for the very common effect. In ordinary use, the noun you will want is effect <waiting for the new law to take effect> <the weather had an effect on everyone's mood>.

Examples of EFFECT

  1. They are trying to effect a settlement of the dispute.
  2. The duty of the legislature is to effect the will of the people.
  3. When, at last, rescue is at hand, Jewitt has no hesitation in lying to his old friend and master, Maquinna, in order to effect his escape, although he does persuade the captain of the brig Lydia not to kill the chief. —Carolyn Kizer, New York Times Book Review, 21 Feb. 1988

Origin of EFFECT

(see 1effect)
First Known Use: 1533

ef·fect

noun \i-ˈfekt\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of EFFECT

: something that is produced by an agent or cause <obtained the same effect with a smaller dose>

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