in·​ef·​fi·​cient | \ ˌi-nə-ˈfi-shənt How to pronounce inefficient (audio) \

Definition of inefficient

: not efficient: such as
a : not producing the effect intended or desired
b : wasteful of time or energy inefficient operating procedures
c : incapable, incompetent an inefficient worker

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Other Words from inefficient

inefficient noun
inefficiently adverb

Examples of inefficient in a Sentence

The delivery system was very inefficient. an inefficient use of fuel

Recent Examples on the Web

Roman Keller Erecting a new building ranks among the most inefficient, polluting activities humans undertake. Anne Quito, Quartz, "A Swiss house built by robots promises to revolutionize the construction industry," 12 Sep. 2019 American has been on a multi-year spending spree — nearly $30 billion in six years — to upgrade what had been an aging, inefficient fleet and to invest in things including technology and sprucing up airport lounge. David Koenig,, "As MD-80s fly into sunset, American Airlines faces headwinds," 4 Sep. 2019 These were larger than regional jets but were also extremely inefficient by today's standards. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The new Midwest Express will not be the old, beloved Midwest Express. Industry economics won't allow it.," 30 Aug. 2019 But the union that represents pilots at the company says American Airlines' inefficient scheduling is also at fault. Dallas News, "American Airlines was just as much to blame for delays as mechanics and weather, pilots union says," 22 July 2019 That being the case, at the 90-game checkpoint, here’s a look at some of the defining elements of the Red Sox season to date: Offense great – if inefficientAfter a slow start, the Red Sox are again steamrolling opposing pitching staffs. Alex Speier,, "Breaking down a bizarre first half for the Red Sox," 10 July 2019 Case processing was inefficient, with different lawyers handling arraignments, indictments and trials. Robert D. Mcfadden, New York Times, "Robert Morgenthau, Longtime Manhattan District Attorney, Dies at 99," 21 July 2019 That reflects one of the realities of buying emerging markets: indexes can be inefficient, illiquid and dominated by large single stocks, often those embroiled in the country’s political system. Mike Bird, WSJ, "Vietnam’s Moment Is Here," 28 June 2019 Older facilities have become notably inefficient, unsafe and unhealthy, according to one of two studies the supervisors have funded to craft a jail policy. Matt Stiles, Los Angeles Times, "‘No more jails,’ just mental health centers. Is that a realistic policy for L.A. County?," 26 Aug. 2019

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

1750, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for inefficient

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for inefficient

The first known use of inefficient was in 1750

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More Definitions for inefficient



English Language Learners Definition of inefficient

: not capable of producing desired results without wasting materials, time, or energy : not efficient


in·​ef·​fi·​cient | \ ˌi-nə-ˈfi-shənt How to pronounce inefficient (audio) \

Kids Definition of inefficient

1 : not effective : ineffectual an inefficient repair
2 : not capable of bringing about a desired result with little waste inefficient workers

Other Words from inefficient

inefficiently adverb

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Comments on inefficient

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