af·​ter·​ef·​fect ˈaf-tər-ə-ˌfekt How to pronounce aftereffect (audio)
: an effect that follows its cause after an interval

Examples of aftereffect in a Sentence

in the U.S. slavery was abolished in 1865, but its aftereffects remained keenly felt long afterwards
Recent Examples on the Web The economic aftereffects from obesity and excess weight on U.S. businesses and employers amounted to a staggering $425.5 billion in 2023. Julian Hayes Ii, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024 An extremely talented writer and a colorful guest on late-night talk shows, Capote struggled with the aftereffects of an unhappy childhood and the ongoing toll of alcohol and drug addiction. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, 1 Feb. 2024 Although young adults are contending with the aftereffects of a global pandemic, the unemployment rate for recent grads has been low compared to other demographics since 1990, but that gap has recently widened, the Washington Post reported. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 Among the unknowns: Who’s most likely to experience these aftereffects? Lauran Neergaard, Chicago Tribune, 10 Aug. 2023 But to brush past those who had bizarre aftereffects, even if rare, would be irresponsible. Emily Latimer, Longreads, 25 Jan. 2024 The Biden years have been marred at the border by the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused widespread economic strife and kept people from traveling across borders. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, 31 Jan. 2024 However, the aftereffects and the remnant can persist for much longer. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 10 Jan. 2024 Teens are also likely to experience the aftereffects of acne. Jenn Barthole, Glamour, 17 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aftereffect.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


after- + effect entry 1

First Known Use

1656, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of aftereffect was in 1656

Dictionary Entries Near aftereffect

Cite this Entry

“Aftereffect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


af·​ter·​ef·​fect -ə-ˌfekt How to pronounce aftereffect (audio)
: an effect that arises after the first or immediate effect has decreased or disappeared
a medicine with no noticeable aftereffects

Medical Definition


af·​ter·​ef·​fect ˈaf-tə-ri-ˌfekt How to pronounce aftereffect (audio)
: an effect that follows its cause after an interval
the aftereffects of surgery
: a secondary result especially in the action of a drug coming on after the subsidence of the first effect

More from Merriam-Webster on aftereffect

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