ineffective

adjective
in·​ef·​fec·​tive | \ ˌi-nə-ˈfek-tiv How to pronounce ineffective (audio) \

Definition of ineffective

1 : not producing an intended effect : ineffectual ineffective lighting
2 : not capable of performing efficiently or as expected : incapable an ineffective executive

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ineffective

ineffectively adverb
ineffectiveness noun

Examples of ineffective in a Sentence

The treatment was ineffective against the disease. an ineffective effort to reduce unemployment that only spurred inflation

Recent Examples on the Web

The letter also says the concern that either party may seek to overturn a conviction by claiming ineffective counsel is not realistic. Rob Frehse And Steve Almasy, CNN, "College admissions scandal: USC says legal action against Loughlin, Giannulli is possible," 6 June 2019 There are thousands of titles on the market, with more coming all the time, and promoting them via a traditional storefront is ineffective. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Google Stadia Goes Live in November," 6 June 2019 In his ruling, Shanes said the defense had not proven claims of ineffective previous counsel or that DNA evidence examined since the trial would have changed the outcome of the trial. Jim Newton, Lake County News-Sun, "Appeal promised after judge denies retrial for man convicted of murder in North Chicago burning death," 5 June 2018 One of the big concerns people have is that governments are either ineffective or corrupt and can’t deliver good services to their people. Meagan Neal, Vox, "It’s hard to design good policies. This simple idea can help governments do it.," 21 Dec. 2018 The House bill, by contrast, prohibits the EPA from stepping in unless the tax is ineffective after a decade. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Bipartisan carbon-tax bill introduced in the Senate offers glimpse at future," 20 Dec. 2018 Now the Trump administration is pitching a new message on anti-poverty programs, saying efforts that Republicans had long condemned as ineffective have already worked. Jeff Stein And Tracy Jan, chicagotribune.com, "White House declares war on poverty 'largely over' amid push to revamp social programs," 14 July 2018 A month later, the Patriots lost Super Bowl LII to the underdog Eagles, largely due to an ineffective defense that was without starting cornerback Malcolm Butler, benched by Belichick. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Patriots training camp questions: Will rocky offseason carry over for AFC champions?," 13 July 2018 Bitter partisanship, ineffective federal government and electoral bias poison politics and are hard to fix. The Economist, "American democracy’s built-in bias towards rural Republicans," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ineffective.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ineffective

1649, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ineffective

Statistics for ineffective

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ineffective

The first known use of ineffective was in 1649

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ineffective

ineffective

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of ineffective

: not producing or having the effect you want : not effective

ineffective

adjective
in·​ef·​fec·​tive | \ ˌi-nə-ˈfek-tiv How to pronounce ineffective (audio) \

Kids Definition of ineffective

: not having the desired effect The medicine was ineffective.

Other Words from ineffective

ineffectively adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on ineffective

What made you want to look up ineffective? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!