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

In 2009, Bengi Melton and colleagues from Baylor College of Medicine reported in Academic Psychiatry that just shy of one in five psychiatry chief residents felt prepared to face the aftereffects of a patient suicide. Zheala Qayyum, Scientific American, "Where do Psychiatrists go When a Patient Dies?," 30 July 2019 And that was when the aftereffects of the 2008 crash and the recession were still very much in evidence. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Trump’s plan to throw 3 million people off food stamps shows his cruelty to the poor," 23 July 2019 Space explorers have the Moon’s unique environment to thank for this dusty aftereffect. Loren Grush, The Verge, "High-speed lunar dust could cloud the future of human missions to the Moon," 17 July 2019 Why some reevaluations of public figures that seem long overdue only happen after the release of a film about them — the aftereffects of the 2018 Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly is a good example — is nearly impossible to trace to one cause. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "A changing America finally demands that the Central Park Five prosecutors face consequences," 8 July 2019 Was this feeling of renewal an intrinsic aftereffect of panic? Lisa Wells, Harper's magazine, "Nightmares at 20,000 Feet," 10 Apr. 2019 The commission would also suggest to Congress possible remedies for slavery’s aftereffects on African-Americans up to the present. Jesse Naranjo, WSJ, "Slavery Reparations Issue Gets Rare Hearing on Hill," 19 June 2019 But the aftereffects of surgery and radiation plagued her. Ann Neumann, Harper's magazine, "Going to Extremes," 10 June 2019 Some are responding to early signs of slowing sales, while others fear that tariffs, unstable financial markets, the aftereffects of the government shutdown... Ruth Simon, WSJ, "Small Businesses Are Waving the Caution Flag," 3 Feb. 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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Statistics for aftereffect

Last Updated

14 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for aftereffect

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 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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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).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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