Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective efficient contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of efficient are effective, effectual, and efficacious. While all these words mean "producing or capable of producing a result," efficient suggests an acting or a potential for action or use in such a way as to avoid loss or waste of energy in effecting, producing, or functioning.

an efficient small car

In what contexts can effective take the place of efficient?

While in some cases nearly identical to efficient, effective stresses the actual production of or the power to produce an effect.

an effective rebuttal

When would effectual be a good substitute for efficient?

The words effectual and efficient are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, effectual suggests the accomplishment of a desired result especially as viewed after the fact.

the measures to stop the pilfering proved effectual

Where would efficacious be a reasonable alternative to efficient?

The synonyms efficacious and efficient are sometimes interchangeable, but efficacious suggests possession of a special quality or virtue that gives effective power.

a detergent that is efficacious in removing grease

Thesaurus Entries Near efficient

Cite this Entry

“Efficient.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/efficient. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

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