effector

noun
ef·​fec·​tor | \ i-ˈfek-tər How to pronounce effector (audio) , -ˌtȯr \
plural effectors

Definition of effector

1 : one that causes or brings about something an effector of change … sheer force of personality as an effector of discipline …— Nathaniel Burt We must be effectors of positive change by supporting the revised science standards in full …— Emily Her
2a : a bodily tissue, structure, or organ (such as a gland or muscle) that becomes active in response to stimulation Nerve cells (neurons) convey messages by electrical pulses that pass down the nerve fiber (axon) until they reach the junction with the next neuron or an effector such as a muscle.— Steven Rose Motor neurons carry out-going signals from the brain or spinal cord to the effector organs, namely the muscles and glands.— Rita L. Atkinson et al.
b : a molecule (such as an inducer or a corepressor) that activates, controls, or inactivates a process or action (such as protein synthesis) What are the cell effectors that induce the physiologic turnover of sphingolipids? An obvious set of such effectors includes steroid hormones, tumor necrosis factor … and other chalones and suppressors of cell growth.— Yusuf A. Hannun and Robert M. Bell These … G-proteins, act as intermediates or transducers between the receptor for a given stimulus and the effector protein or enzyme that effects the response to the stimulus …— Douglas Kline
c : effector cell … the macrophage has a dual role: that of antigen presentation, and, as an activated macrophage, that of an effector.— Emil R. Unanue Cell-surface receptors for immunoglobulins play a vital part in immunity by transporting immunoglobulins or by triggering immune effector functions after antibodies have bound to antigens.— Alan F. Williams
3 robotics : end effector Traditional changeovers are done during a shift, when an operator will unbolt an effector and rebolt another one in its place.— Lauren Gibbons Paul

Examples of effector in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And effects grid that employs effectors like missiles, bombs, electronic warfare, cyber attacks. CBS News, "Transcript: Former top defense official Robert Work on "Intelligence Matters"," 11 Mar. 2020 Zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), like Cas9 nuclease, create double-strand breaks in DNA by cutting both DNA strands. Sharon Begley, STAT, "You had questions for David Liu about CRISPR, prime editing, and advice to young scientists. He has answers," 6 Nov. 2019 The third pillar concerns a shortfall in harnessing alternate effector functions. William Warren, Scientific American, "Sanofi Pasteur: fighting influenza by improving today and innovating for tomorrow," 18 Sep. 2019 The machinery involved are called TALENs (transcription activator-like effector nucleases), which are enzymes that can be customized to snip a targeted spot in a genetic code. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Part cow, part… bacterium? Biotech company makes heifer of gene-editing blunder," 1 Sep. 2019 Recent work in a mouse model of MS has filled in the downstream effectors that mediate testosterone’s protective effects. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Testosterone may protect men from autoimmune diseases," 2 Feb. 2018 These effectors might be useful as therapeutics, whereas testosterone use really isn’t, especially for women, who are the ones who need it most. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Testosterone may protect men from autoimmune diseases," 2 Feb. 2018 So the robot would just be an end effector, just a series of sensors and actuators. Vanityfair.com, VanityFair.com, "Elon Musk’s Billion-Dollar Crusade to Stop the A.I. Apocalypse," 26 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'effector.' 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 effector

1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for effector

effect entry 2 + -or entry 1 (after receptor)

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Time Traveler for effector

Time Traveler

The first known use of effector was in 1586

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Cite this Entry

“Effector.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/effector. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for effector

effector

noun
ef·​fec·​tor | \ i-ˈfek-tər How to pronounce effector (audio) , -ˌtȯ(ə)r How to pronounce effector (audio) \

Medical Definition of effector

1 : a bodily tissue, structure, or organ (as a gland or muscle) that becomes active in response to stimulation Unlike the motor pathways of the somatic nervous system, which usually include a single neuron between the brain or spinal cord and an effector, those of the autonomic system involve two neurons.— John W. Hole
2 : a molecule (as an inducer, a corepressor, or an enzyme) that activates, controls, or inactivates a process or action (as protein synthesis or the release of a second messenger) What are the cell effectors that induce the physiologic turnover of sphingolipids? An obvious set of such effectors includes steroid hormones, tumor necrosis factor … and other chalones and suppressors of cell growth.— Yusuf A. Hannun and Robert M. Bell
3 : effector cell … the macrophage has a dual role: that of antigen presentation, and, as an activated macrophage, that of an effector.— Emil R. Unanue

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