Definition of effective
2 : ready for service or action effective manpower
3 : actual the need to increase effective demand for goods
4 : being in effect : operative the tax becomes effective next year
5 of a rate of interest : equal to the rate of simple interest that yields the same amount when the interest is paid once at the end of the interest period as a quoted rate of interest does when calculated at compound interest over the same period — compare nominal 4
effectivityplay \ˌe-ˌfek-ˈti-və-tē, i-, ē-, ə-\ noun
Examples of effective in a Sentence
These commercials were extremely effective as marketing tools, but we now know that chocolate swimming pools and candy-coating showers play no part in the manufacture of real M&M's. Instead, the ellipsoid chocolate centers of plain M&M's are formed by machines. —David Owen, Atlantic, October 1988
My feeling is that by waiting for the right moment to let rip, a film is infinitely more effective, especially with characters you have come to like. —Clive Barker, in Cinefantastique, September 1987
But Tammy's most effective remedy for stress, both then and now, was the same as Imelda Marcos's: shopping up a storm. “It's kind of a hobby to help my nerves,” she explained … —Jean Seligman, Newsweek, 8 June 1987
It's a simple but effective technique.
He gave an effective speech.
Recent Examples of effective from the Web
Davis said the U.S. defensive system is limited but effective.
And stigma is still considered a major roadblock for getting effective treatment to people at risk and infected with HIV/AIDS.
To me, these people are superhuman; to an organization, they're considered highly effective.
He and actress Hedy Lamarr invented a very effective radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes in 1941, using a technique called frequency hopping.
Christine Radogno, the Illinois Senate’s Republican leader and the first female legislative leader in state history, announced her resignation effective July 1, the start of the state’s new fiscal year.
In the case of Thompson, both governing bodies changed the rules shortly afterward in April to limit the use of video evidence in the game, which was effective immediately.
PMD-026 has been tested in mice grafted with human triple-negative breast cancers, Dunn said, and found to be effective.
That is exactly the kind of insight that clinicians need to create and recommend more effective probiotics.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'effective'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Comparing efficient, effective, and proficient
These three words cover some overlapping territory.
Efficient most often describes what is capable of producing desired results without wasting materials, time, or energy. While the word can be applied to both people and things, it is far more commonly applied to things, such as machines, systems, processes, and organizations. The focus of the word is on how little is wasted or lost while the desired results are produced.
Effective typically describes things—such as policies, treatments, arguments, and techniques—that do what they are intended to do. People can also be described as effective when they accomplish what they set out to accomplish, but the word is far more often applied to things.
Proficient typically describes people, and it often is followed by the preposition at. If you are proficient at something, you are very good at it. You are, in fact, so good at doing it that you are unusually efficient when you do it. One can also be proficient in something, such as a language.
Synonym Discussion of effective
EFFECTIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of effective for English Language Learners
: producing a result that is wanted : having an intended effect
of a law, rule, etc. : in use
: starting at a particular time
EFFECTIVE Defined for Kids
Word Root of effective
The Latin word facere, meaning “to make” or “to do,” and its form factus give us the roots fic, fact, and fect. Words from the Latin facere have something to do with making or doing something. To manufacture is to make goods. This is often done in a factory. Something difficult is hard to do. Anything effective does what it is meant to do.
Legal Definition of effective
1 : producing a desired effect an effective revocation of the contract
2 : capable of bringing about an effect effective assistance of counsel — see also ineffective assistance of counsel
3 : being in effect
4 of a rate of interest : equal to the rate of simple interest that yields the same amount when the rate is paid once at the end of the interest period as a quoted rate of interest does when calculated at compound interest over the same period — compare nominal
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up effective? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).