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 On a camping trip to several state parks in Southwest Virginia this week, Gov. Ralph Northam received yet another reminder of the strange aftereffect of his bout with covid-19 last fall. Washington Post, 14 May 2021 Arm soreness was the most common first-dose aftereffect listed by readers who responded to a request from The Salt Lake Tribune to describe their vaccine experience, which reflects national statistics for the side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 Mar. 2021 Although the incident wasn’t technically an avalanche, its aftereffect certainly looked like one. New York Times, 22 Jan. 2021 One complicating factor is the aftereffect of this week’s powerful offshore winds. Nora Mishanec,, 29 Oct. 2020 Brady Feeney, a freshman offensive lineman, was infected with the virus and has been held out of fall camp because of concerns about a possible aftereffect with his heart. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, 12 Aug. 2020 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, 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, 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, 2 Dec. 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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Statistics for aftereffect

Last Updated

24 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aftereffect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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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 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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