ef·​fec·​tu·​al | \ i-ˈfek-chə(-wə)l How to pronounce effectual (audio) , -chü(-ə)l; -ˈfeksh-wəl \

Definition of effectual

: producing or able to produce a desired effect

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Other Words from effectual

effectuality \ i-​ˌfek-​chə-​ˈwa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce effectual (audio) , -​chü-​ˈa-​ \ noun
effectualness \ i-​ˈfek-​chə(-​wə)l-​nəs How to pronounce effectual (audio) , -​chü(-​ə)l-​ ; -​ˈfeksh-​wəl-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for effectual

effective, effectual, efficient, efficacious mean producing or capable of producing a result. effective stresses the actual production of or the power to produce an effect. an effective rebuttal effectual suggests the accomplishment of a desired result especially as viewed after the fact. the measures to stop the pilfering proved effectual efficient suggests an acting or a potential for action or use in such a way as to avoid loss or waste of energy in effecting, producing, or functioning. an efficient small car efficacious suggests possession of a special quality or virtue that gives effective power. a detergent that is efficacious in removing grease

Examples of effectual in a Sentence

acting like a jerk has generally not been a terribly effectual dating strategy
Recent Examples on the Web The comedy of Dugan’s writing and delivery aren’t all that effectual. Los Angeles Times, 28 June 2021 The work continues—certainly more effectual, if not louder, than the sound bites. Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker, 12 Oct. 2020 Susan’s affectionate, dexterous, sensible activity was never more wanted, or more effectual. Longreads, 27 Mar. 2020 The most that can be decisively taken from all this is that the factors that render radical action productive or counterproductive, effectual or ineffectual, are complex. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, 30 May 2020 The effectual difference between them is like the difference in Coke, Pepsi, and RC Cola. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, 16 Apr. 2020 The iron dike invented by Mr. S. B. Driggs, of New York, seems to put an effectual barrier in the way of these destructive agents. Daniel C. Schlenoff, Scientific American, 13 July 2018 While history may remember Tillerson as one of the least competent and effectual secretaries of state in modern American history, in the final analysis, that’s not why he was fired. Jonah Shepp, Daily Intelligencer, 14 Mar. 2018 There is evidence from both human and animal studies that this is effectual to some degree. Sandy Bauers, Philly.com, 7 July 2017

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for effectual

Middle English effectuel, effectual "efficacious, effective, legally binding," borrowed from Anglo-French effectuel, borrowed from Medieval Latin effectuālis, from Latin effectu-, stem of effectus "achievement, result, effect entry 1" + -ālis -al entry 1

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Time Traveler for effectual

Time Traveler

The first known use of effectual was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near effectual

effector cell


effectual calling

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Last Updated

13 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Effectual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/effectual. Accessed 2 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for effectual



English Language Learners Definition of effectual

formal : producing a desired result or effect


ef·​fec·​tu·​al | \ i-ˈfek-chə-wəl How to pronounce effectual (audio) \

Kids Definition of effectual

: producing or able to produce a desired effect an effectual remedy

Other Words from effectual

effectually adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on effectual

Nglish: Translation of effectual for Spanish Speakers


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