Definition of ineffectual in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌinəˈfek(t)SH(o͞o)əl/


1Not producing any or the desired effect: an ineffectual campaign
More example sentences
  • It is hard to see what more could be done other than a punitive and probably ineffectual bombing campaign.
  • The guy's a plonker and made a totally ineffectual campaign leader.
  • Luftwaffe tactical support for ground operations during the rest of the campaign remained spotty and ineffectual.
1.1(Of a person) lacking the ability or qualities to cope with a role or situation: she was neglectful and ineffectual as a parent
More example sentences
  • In point of fact, he was remarkably ineffectual at anything but promoting a sort of genteel cronyism.
  • These difficulties would be ignored if he appeared a huge impediment, but he is ineffectual rather than terrible.
  • He is ineffectual in his dual post anyway, but he still can rant and rave over it.



Pronunciation: /-fekCHo͞oˈalitē/
Example sentences
  • Franklin's civilised demeanour is revealed as mere ineffectuality, and he is unable to save the murdered girl, whom he loves.
  • It's an invitation to cronyism and corruption or total ineffectuality.
  • In much the same manner, Bernard's efforts to keep his experiment with the children under wraps remain equally doomed to ineffectuality.


Pronunciation: /ˈˌinəˈfek(t)SH(əw)əlē/
Example sentences
  • I spent the day in a deep funk, ineffectually shuffling around my office in an unproductive, sleep-deprived, hangover-tinged haze.
  • Orangutans, gorillas, and their ape relatives, meanwhile, will ineffectually thrash around in deep water or simply gurgle and sink.
  • I spend the night with Polish engineers and local salmon-filleters, collecting anecdotes and dancing ineffectually with someone's giddy aunt.


Pronunciation: /ˌinəˈfek(t)SH(o͞o)əlnəs/
Example sentences
  • ‘Experts’, often combining ineffectualness with insufferable vanity, have displaced wisdom from its central role.
  • His words - and his ineffectualness - haunted him on Sunday night as the frenzy grew even fiercer.
  • The work is no grandiose masterpiece of self-aware ineffectualness, but the film rides its lead performance and unusual pacing to the umpteenth degree.


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin ineffectualis, from in- 'not' + effectualis, from Latin effectus (see effect); in later use from in-1 'not' + effectual.

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Syllabification: in·ef·fec·tu·al

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