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ineffectual Line breaks: in|ef¦fec|tual
Pronunciation: /ɪnɪˈfɛktʃʊəl/

Definition of ineffectual in English:


1Not producing any significant or 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.
inefficient, ineffective, inefficacious, unsuccessful, powerless, impotent, inadequate, inept, incompetent, incapable, unfit, lame, feeble, weak, poor
informal useless, hopeless, rotten, lousy, no good
ineffective, unproductive, unsuccessful, non-successful, profitless, fruitless, futile, failed, abortive, vain, unavailing, useless, worthless, inadequate, inefficient, inefficacious, lame, inept, bungled, bungling
archaic bootless
rare unfructuous, inutile
1.1(Of a person) lacking the ability or qualities to fulfil a role or handle a 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.


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



Pronunciation: /ɪnɪfɛktʃʊˈalɪti/
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: /ɪnɪˈfɛktjʊəli/
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: /ˌɪnɪˈfɛktʃʊəlnəs/
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.

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Pronunciation: fɔːˈtɪsɪməʊ
(especially as a direction) very loud or loudly