af·​ter·​ef·​fect | \ˈaf-tər-ə-ˌfekt \

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

The aftereffects still linger today, especially in our education system. Christine Emba,, "President Trump’s ‘Space Force’ brings back ‘separate but equal’," 20 June 2018 After sending Jean Blanc home, Becca is trembling — the aftereffects of her touch with true, true Bachelor honesty. Rebecca Farley,, "The Bachelorette Season 14, Episode 4 Recap: Two Rose Ceremonies, One Clown," 19 June 2018 Season three will feature 18 episodes and explore the immediate aftereffects of Jack's death, Miguel and Rebecca's backstory, and Jack's young life. Melissa Minton, Glamour, "This Is Us Just Announced the Premiere Date for Season 3," 19 June 2018 When the hurricane struck Georgia last September, the Cherokee County Emergency Operations Center was activated to coordinate city and county agencies dealing with the storm and its aftereffects, according to a staff report to commissioners. David Ibata, ajc, "Cherokee to seek federal funds for hurricane response," 11 June 2018 This is a show where even a photograph of Hurricane Sandy’s aftereffects—a helicopter view by Mr. Baan of lower Manhattan without power—is darkly alluring. Richard B. Woodward, WSJ, "‘Image Building: How Photography Transforms Architecture’ Review," 26 Mar. 2018 Williamson’s captivating album Cosmic Wink is a potent and haunting rumination on love and its aftereffects. Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, "Top Picks: Jess Williamson's 'Cosmic Wink,' 'Black Panther' on DVD and Blu-ray, and more," 1 June 2018 Many blame the aftereffects of reforms enacted at the height of the crisis, which prompted bailouts in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Ireland and Cyprus. Deborah Ball, WSJ, "Aftereffects of Eurozone Crisis Plague Europe’s South," 1 June 2018 Tami, 51, is something of a baby whisperer, adept at magically soothing a newborn screaming through the aftereffects of his mother's cocaine addiction. Melody Warnick, Woman's Day, "Work Inspired These Nurses to Adopt Kids Whose Families Were Affected By Drugs," 30 May 2018

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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The first known use of aftereffect was in 1656

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More Definitions for aftereffect



English Language Learners Definition of aftereffect

: an effect that occurs after time has passed


af·​ter·​ef·​fect | \ˈaf-tər-ə-ˌfekt \

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 \

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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Comments on aftereffect

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


playful or foolish behavior

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