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

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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 The unproductive meeting showed just how sclerotic and ineffectual the HFPA has been in responding to mounting pressure from outside groups to reform. Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2021 Those men were totally ineffectual outside of that moment, though, and were absolutely not worth a yacht. Roxana Hadadi, Vulture, 7 June 2021 Interestingly enough, many CABs are actually ineffectual. Tom Taulli, Forbes, 28 May 2021 That Biden felt compelled to offer an anti-crime agenda of his own, no matter how ineffectual, highlights the political stakes. Rich Lowry, National Review, 25 June 2021 Just scary students, scared teachers and ineffectual administrators. Jim Kiest, San Antonio Express-News, 16 June 2021 Losing is crafting intricate webs of ineffectual sanctions as Russia’s reach and control inexorably expand. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, 14 June 2021 Organizations such as the UN have been left looking largely ineffectual and paralyzed by inaction. Timothy Mclaughlin, The Atlantic, 24 Apr. 2021 It has been criticized as ineffectual by Biden's Treasury leading up to the release of his plan and also criticized as encouraging the movement of assets offshore by companies in order to increase the FDII deduction. Tax Notes Staff, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2021

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

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Last Updated

26 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ineffectual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for ineffectual



English Language Learners Definition of ineffectual

: not producing or able to produce the effect you want


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


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