ineffectual

adjective
in·​ef·​fec·​tu·​al | \ˌi-nə-ˈfek-chə(-wə)l, -ˈfeksh-wəl\

Definition of ineffectual 

1 : not producing the proper or intended effect : futile

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Other Words from ineffectual

ineffectuality \ˌi-​nə-​ˌfek-​chə-​ˈwa-​lə-​tē \ noun
ineffectually \ˌi-​nə-​ˈfek-​chə(-​wə)-​lē, -​ˈfek-​shwə-​ \ adverb
ineffectualness noun

Examples of ineffectual in a Sentence

an ineffectual effort to find the trail again did at least lead them to another stunning view of the canyon another ineffectual plan to lose weight without dieting or exercising

Recent Examples on the Web

The Trump administration is right to make Chinese mercantilism an issue, Mr. Cass says, but its response has been ineffectual. Jason Willick, WSJ, "Conservatives and the Politics of Work," 23 Nov. 2018 Applying the same old tools to a very new situation, even though those tools have been proven ineffectual. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "After 20,000 workers walked out, Google said it got the message. The workers disagree.," 21 Nov. 2018 So far, attempts to muster support for the international regulation of autonomous weapons have been ineffectual. James Vincent, The Verge, "Elon Musk, DeepMind founders, and others sign pledge to not develop lethal AI weapon systems," 18 July 2018 Chicago has been used with wearying regularity by the same president as a symbol of rampant gun violence and hogtied, ineffectual law enforcement. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "A pop-up film festival defines immigrant America — and visits Chicago," 19 Apr. 2018 Tannerite could have been used to boost a more effective explosive (which was in turn detonated by a cell phone timer), but that begs the question: why not just use that explosive instead of the relatively ineffectual Tannerite? Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "What Is Tannerite, the Supposed NYC Bombing Material?," 19 Sep. 2016 The town’s chief authority figure, the mayor, boldly announces a series of indecisive and ineffectual remedies and later, as order deteriorates, lapses into authoritarianism. Sam Walker, WSJ, "Now on Broadway: SpongeBob ChauvinistPants," 11 July 2018 But that rush of pure adrenaline turned out to be a false dawn instead of the cathartic boost this talented but ultimately ineffectual team required. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Germany Crashes Out of World Cup With a Loss to South Korea," 28 June 2018 The move only further enraged White, a naive, ineffectual and embittered young politician who couldn’t financially support his young family — and hated to see how his city was becoming more progressive and inclusive. John Mcmurtrie, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death,’ by Lillian Faderman," 22 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for ineffectual

The first known use of ineffectual was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for ineffectual

ineffectual

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of ineffectual

: not producing or able to produce the effect you want

ineffectual

adjective
in·​ef·​fec·​tu·​al | \ˌi-nə-ˈfek-chə-wəl \

Kids Definition of ineffectual

: not producing the proper or desired effect

Other Words from ineffectual

ineffectually adverb

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ineffectual

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Spanish Central: Translation of ineffectual

Nglish: Translation of ineffectual for Spanish Speakers

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