af·​ter·​ef·​fect | \ ˈaf-tər-ə-ˌfekt How to pronounce aftereffect (audio) \

Definition of aftereffect

: an effect that follows its cause after an interval

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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 These aftereffects are already complicating a stretch that finds his rivals preaching patience as Biden allies demand urgency — and unity, around him. New York Times, "Joe Biden Had a Big Night. He Needs Another in 72 Hours.," 11 Mar. 2020 Traditional full-body gua sha, which is more like a sports massage, can produce cringe-worthy results (imagine the aftereffects of cupping, where there is an abundance of bruising and redness). Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored, "What is gua sha? The trendy skin care tool dominating Instagram, explained," 30 Dec. 2019 The mission will observe the aftereffects of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, which is due to crash into the moon of the binary asteroid system Didymos in 2022. Elizabeth Gibney, Scientific American, "European Space Windfall Will Fast-Track Science Missions," 2 Dec. 2019 People spoke of the wonder of the medium spicy version, though I was warned about the... aftereffects. Soleil Ho,, "How do we support restaurant workers during a pandemic?," 16 Mar. 2020 The centenary has brought attention to a war that occupies comparatively little space in the American popular consciousness, though its aftereffects continue to resonate. Eric R. Danton, Fortune, "World War I Takes the Pop Culture Spotlight After Years of Being the ‘Neglected War’," 14 Jan. 2020 There was an unexpected aftereffect: High-energy electrons, shed by radioactive debris and trapped by Earth’s magnetic field, were fritzing out the satellites’ electronics and solar panels. Richard Stone, Science | AAAS, "U.S. tests ways to sweep space clean of radiation after nuclear attack," 26 Dec. 2019 Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated: As the NCAA gets dragged toward change, every aftereffect might not be positive. oregonlive, "Warning for Cal, this could be the week the Oregon Ducks put it all together: Issues & Answers," 3 Oct. 2019 Injuries were a major theme in 2019, and their aftereffect will be felt next season. James Wagner, New York Times, "Yankees Are Left to Wonder How to Clear That Final Hurdle," 20 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aftereffect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of aftereffect

1656, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aftereffect

after- + effect entry 1

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Time Traveler for aftereffect

Time Traveler

The first known use of aftereffect was in 1656

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Cite this Entry

“Aftereffect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for aftereffect


How to pronounce aftereffect (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of aftereffect

: an effect that occurs after time has passed


af·​ter·​ef·​fect | \ ˈaf-tər-ə-ˌfekt How to pronounce aftereffect (audio) \

Kids Definition of aftereffect

: an effect that follows its cause after some time has passed A bad headache is the only aftereffect of my accident.


af·​ter·​ef·​fect | \ ˈaf-tə-ri-ˌfekt How to pronounce aftereffect (audio) \

Medical Definition of aftereffect

1 : an effect that follows its cause after an interval the aftereffects of surgery
2 : a secondary result especially in the action of a drug coming on after the subsidence of the first effect

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