in·​ef·​fec·​tu·​al | \ ˌi-nə-ˈfek-chə(-wə)l How to pronounce ineffectual (audio) , -ˈfeksh-wəl \

Definition of ineffectual

1 : not producing the proper or intended effect : futile

Other Words from ineffectual

ineffectuality \ ˌi-​nə-​ˌfek-​chə-​ˈwa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce ineffectual (audio) \ noun
ineffectually \ ˌi-​nə-​ˈfek-​chə(-​wə)-​lē How to pronounce ineffectual (audio) , -​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 Showers are generally weak and ineffectual, hotel room air conditioning a cruel hoax, and the size of both restaurant portions and parking spaces often measly. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 24 June 2022 For example, Affleck not only rides a bike but also allows his wife cheat on him, so we’re clearly supposed to see him as weak and ineffectual. Eben Weiss, Outside Online, 21 June 2022 In Africa, American efforts to persuade governments not to work with Wagner have generally been late and ineffectual, the officials said. Joaquin Sapien, ProPublica, 30 May 2022 In the case of the first forum, Reddit’s crackdown was too little, too late; in the case of the second, the platform’s response was more timely but still ineffectual. The New Yorker, 19 May 2022 Doctors refuse her — one is vaguely understanding, if ineffectual, while another is openly contemptuous and ultimately duplicitous. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 11 May 2022 The tick-box approach can often result in poor and ineffectual customer due diligence, too. Ian Henderson, Forbes, 6 May 2022 The lockdown in Shanghai is ham-handed, likely ineffectual and deeply damaging in economic terms. Washington Post, 28 Apr. 2022 But what was true of Afghanistan, however ineffectual many of our efforts there were, isn't true here. W. James Antle Iii, The Week, 17 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of ineffectual

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About ineffectual

Time Traveler for ineffectual

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near ineffectual




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for ineffectual

Last Updated

26 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ineffectual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for ineffectual


in·​ef·​fec·​tu·​al | \ ˌi-nə-ˈfek-chə-wəl How to pronounce ineffectual (audio) \

Kids Definition of ineffectual

: not producing the proper or desired effect

Other Words from ineffectual

ineffectually adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on ineffectual

Nglish: Translation of ineffectual for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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