ineffective

adjective
in·​ef·​fec·​tive | \ˌi-nə-ˈfek-tiv \

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

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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

Milwaukee Brewers beat reporter Tom Haudricourt stops by to address the state of the team, who have hovered around .500 lately despite injuries and being ineffective on offense. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers Podcast: Chatting with Jesus Aguilar and farm director Tom Flanagan, plus why are the Brewers so hesitant to use the 10-day DL?," 2 July 2018 That’s not necessarily because pot is ineffective for treating those conditions but because supporting research is simply nonexistent or lacking. German Lopez, Vox, "Oklahoma just voted to legalize medical marijuana," 27 June 2018 The state Supreme Court ruled by a 4-3 margin in April that Skakel’s trial lawyer was so ineffective that his right to a fair trial was violated. Courant Staff Report, courant.com, "State Can Proceed In Appealing Skakel Decision To U.S. Supreme Court," 12 June 2018 Curtin tried to light some more fires in the 61st minute by inserting Cory Burke for C.J. Sapong, who was once again ineffective. Jonathan Tannenwald, Philly.com, "Union run out of gas in 2-0 loss to Toronto FC," 8 June 2018 So when the president began calling for a vast new port development project at Hambantota, his sleepy home district, the few roadblocks in its way proved ineffective. Maria Abi-habib, New York Times, "How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port," 25 June 2018 Prescription painkillers were proving ineffective, leaving him sweaty and sleepless. The Economist, "Still not highDrugs policy in Germany is a mess," 1 Feb. 2018 Some are gimmick weight loss tricks, and others are scientifically proven to be ineffective. USA TODAY, "The biggest exercise fad the year you were born," 12 July 2018 Orioles reliever Mychal Givens has been ineffective this year, but his 2017 season (2.75 ERA in 69 games) can’t be overlooked. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "Cubs need insurance for the rotation and bullpen, no matter how small the upgrade," 5 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.

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First Known Use of ineffective

1649, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ineffective

The first known use of ineffective was in 1649

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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 \

Kids Definition of ineffective

: not having the desired effect The medicine was ineffective.

Other Words from ineffective

ineffectively adverb

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Comments on ineffective

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