Definition of effective in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈfektiv/


1Successful in producing a desired or intended result: effective solutions to environmental problems
More example sentences
  • A container deposit system is also effective in increasing environmental awareness.
  • This is not a pretty movie, although it is effective in what it intends to do.
  • The genre of the sports spectacle is particularly effective in producing such narratives.
successful, effectual, potent, powerful;
helpful, beneficial, advantageous, valuable, useful
formal efficacious
convincing, compelling, strong, forceful, potent, weighty, impactful, sound, valid;
impressive, persuasive, plausible, credible, authoritative;
logical, reasonable, lucid, coherent, cogent, eloquent
formal efficacious
1.1(Especially of a law or policy) operative: the agreements will be effective from November
More example sentences
  • The law is effective today and about 100,000 Ohioans are expected to apply for permits in the next six months.
  • The Act will then receive Royal Assent and become effective law three months later - hunting could be banned by early 2005.
  • The new rate increase was to be effective from Jan.1, meaning phone bills for January were set to be based on the new higher rate.
operative, in force, in effect;
valid, official, lawful, legal, binding;
Law  effectual
2 [attributive] Fulfilling a specified function in fact, though not formally acknowledged as such: the region did not come under effective Dutch control until 1904
More example sentences
  • The Italian government holds 32% of its shares, giving it effective control over the company.
  • We saw the terrible harm the terrorists did when they took effective control of the failed state of Afghanistan.
  • Critics have questioned why private companies or charities should be given effective control over state-funded schools.
virtual, practical, essential, actual, implicit, tacit
2.1Assessed according to actual rather than face value: an effective price of $176 million
More example sentences
  • It is therefore highly necessary to reduce the effective marginal taxation to enhance the incentive to work.
  • The effective level of tax then is dictated by government outlays.
  • In the newly joined member states generally, the effective tax rate is well below the nominal one.
2.2Impressive; striking: an effective finale


A soldier fit and available for service.
Example sentences
  • In late June, a Russian army of some 42000 had taken advantage of the overextended lines of communication of Charles XII and his Swedish force of around 19000 effectives, to win an overwhelming victory at Poltava, deep in the Ukraine.



Pronunciation: /ˌefekˈtivitē/ Pronunciation: /ˌēfek-/
Example sentences
  • First, none of these critics of a commonsense doctrine of agency deny that the subject or representations of the subject exert significant effects, nor do they deny the subject a kind of social effectivity or agency.
  • He argues that local media forms are important sense-making mechanisms, operating at the level of personal effectivity, for assimilating the constantly changing media-scape.
  • The effectivity of masquerade lies precisely in its potential to manufacture a distance from the image, to generate a problematic within which the image is manipulable, producible, and readable by the woman.


Late Middle English: from Latin effectivus, from efficere 'work out, accomplish' (see effect).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ef·fec·tive

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