Synonyms & Antonyms of efficient

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About efficient

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about efficient

Time Traveler for efficient

Time Traveler

The first known use of efficient was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for efficient

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Efficient.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on efficient

Dictionary: Definition of efficient

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with efficient

Spanish Central: Translation of efficient

Nglish: Translation of efficient for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of efficient for Arabic Speakers

Comments on efficient

What made you want to look up efficient? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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