effective


effective
effective, effectual, efficient, efficacious all mean producing or capable of producing a result or results, but they are not freely interchangeable in idiomatic use.
Effective emphasizes the actual production of an effect or the power to produce a given effect
{

effective thinking

}
{

an effective speaker

}
{

an effective rebuke

}
{

the law becomes effective on the 1st of next month

}
{

research chemists . . . are actively investigating to learn why particular materials are effective and to make them more so— Morrison

}
{

persons who will do nothing unless they get something out of it for themselves are often highly effective persons of action— Shaw

}
Effectual suggests the accomplishment of a desired result or the fulfillment of a purpose or intention, so that the term frequently becomes synonymous with decisive or final and looks backward after the event
{

an effectual measure

}
{

an effectual refutation

}
{

his recommendation was effectual, and I was . . . chosen— Gibbon

}
{

an appeal to the emotions is little likely to be effectual before lunch— Maugham

}
Efficient may apply to what is actively operative and producing a result and then comes close to operant in meaning
{

it should be obvious that it is the conditions producing the end effects which must be regarded as the efficient causes of them— Ashley Montagu

}
More often it suggests an acting or a capacity or potential for action or use in such a manner as to minimize the loss or waste of energy in effecting, producing, or functioning
{

an effi-cient apparatus

}
{

a setup designed for the efficient production of small parts

}
{

a strong tendency to break up cumbersome estates into small, efficient farms— Nevins & Commager

}
As used of human beings with this denotation efficient suggests the exercise of such qualities as skill, pains, and vigilance and often becomes synonymous with capable and competent
{

an efficient housewife takes care of her equipment

}
{

because pasturage is the best and cheapest feed for dairy cows, the efficient dairyman takes the best possible care of his pastures— R. E. Hodgson & W. J. Sweetman

}
{

a small seedy village grocer is more efficient for the limited task he must perform than a supermarket— Wiles

}
Efficacious implies the possession of the quality or virtue that gives a thing the potency or power that makes it effective
{

quinine is efficacious in cases of malaria

}
{

good wishes being so cheap, though possibly not very efficaciousHawthorne

}
{

certain formulae of blessing especially efficacious against devils— Wylie

}
Analogous words: forceful, forcible, potent, *powerful: producing or productive, bearing, turning out (see corresponding verbs at BEAR): telling, cogent, convincing, compelling (see VALID): operative, *active, dynamic
Antonyms: ineffective: futile
Contrasted words: vain, fruitless, bootless, abortive (see FUTILE): nugatory, idle, otiose, *vain, empty, hollow

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • effective — ef‧fec‧tive [ɪˈfektɪv] adjective 1. working well and producing the result or effect that was wanted or intended: • The company mounted a very effective publicity campaign. • The 7% increase in sales shows that the company has become more… …   Financial and business terms

  • effective — ef·fec·tive adj 1: producing a desired effect an effective revocation of the contract 2: capable of bringing about an effect effective assistance of counsel see also ineffective assistance o …   Law dictionary

  • effective — effective, effectual, efficacious, efficient 1. All these words mean ‘having an effect’ of some kind, but with different applications and shades of meaning. Effective means ‘having a definite or desired effect’ that is actual rather than… …   Modern English usage

  • Effective — Ef*fect ive, a. [L. effectivus: cf. F. effectif.] Having the power to produce an effect or effects; producing a decided or decisive effect; efficient; serviceable; operative; as, an effective force, remedy, speech; the effective men in a regiment …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Effective — Ef*fect ive, n. 1. That which produces a given effect; a cause. Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster] 2. One who is capable of active service. [1913 Webster] He assembled his army 20,000 effectives at Corinth. W. P. Johnston. [1913 Webster] 3. [F. effectif …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • effective — [e fek′tiv, ifek′tiv; ] often [ ēfek′tiv, əfek′tiv] adj. [ME & OFr effectif < L effectivus] 1. having an effect; producing a result 2. producing a definite or desired result; efficient 3. in effect; operative; active 4. actual, not merely… …   English World dictionary

  • effective — late 14c., from Fr. effectif, from L. effectivus productive, effective, from effect , stem of efficere (see EFFECT (Cf. effect)). Effectively in the sense of actually is attested by 1650s. Related: Effectivity …   Etymology dictionary

  • effective — [adj1] productive, persuasive able, active, adequate, capable, cogent, compelling, competent, convincing, direct, effectual, efficacious, efficient, emphatic, energetic, forceful, forcible, having lead in pencil*, impressive, live, moving, on the …   New thesaurus

  • effective — ► ADJECTIVE 1) producing a desired or intended result. 2) (of a law or policy) operative. 3) existing in fact, though not formally acknowledged as such. DERIVATIVES effectively adverb effectiveness noun effectivity noun …   English terms dictionary

  • effective */*/*/ — UK [ɪˈfektɪv] / US adjective 1) a) someone or something that is effective works well and produces the result that was intended You need more effective communication within the organization. Humour is often far more effective than shouting. The… …   English dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.