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[ih-fekts] /ɪˈfɛkts/
plural noun
goods; movables; personal property.
Origin of effects
plural of effect
Synonym Study
See property.


[ih-fekt] /ɪˈfɛkt/
something that is produced by an agency or cause; result; consequence:
Exposure to the sun had the effect of toughening his skin.
power to produce results; efficacy; force; validity; influence:
His protest had no effect.
the state of being operative or functional; operation or execution; accomplishment or fulfillment:
to bring a plan into effect.
a mental or emotional impression produced, as by a painting or a speech.
meaning or sense; purpose or intention:
She disapproved of the proposal and wrote to that effect.
the making of a desired impression:
We had the feeling that the big, expensive car was only for effect.
an illusory phenomenon:
a three-dimensional effect.
a real phenomenon (usually named for its discoverer):
the Doppler effect.
verb (used with object)
to produce as an effect; bring about; accomplish; make happen:
The new machines finally effected the transition to computerized accounting last spring.
in effect,
  1. for practical purposes; virtually:
    His silence was in effect a confirmation of the rumor.
  2. essentially; basically.
  3. operating or functioning; in force:
    The plan is now in effect.
take effect,
  1. to go into operation; begin to function.
  2. to produce a result:
    The prescribed medicine failed to take effect.
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin effectus the carrying out (of a task, etc.), hence, that which is achieved, outcome, equivalent to effec- (variant stem of efficere to make, carry out; ef- ef- + -ficere, combining form of facere to do1) + -tus suffix of v. action
Related forms
effectible, adjective
preeffect, noun, verb (used with object)
uneffected, adjective
uneffectible, adjective
well-effected, adjective
Can be confused
affect, effect (see usage note at affect)
1. outcome, issue. Effect, consequence (s ), result refer to something produced by an action or a cause. An effect is that which is produced, usually more or less immediately and directly: The effect of morphine is to produce sleep. A consequence, something that follows naturally or logically, as in a train of events or sequence of time, is less intimately connected with its cause than is an effect: Punishment is the consequence of disobedience. A result may be near or remote, and often is the sum of effects or consequences as making an end or final outcome: The English language is the result of the fusion of many different elements. 10. achieve, realize, fulfill, perform, consummate.
Usage note
See affect1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for effects
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A modern example of the effects it is capable of is recorded by Tartini.

  • He is never downright intoxicated, and never free from the effects of liquor.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • Now, this is not the ordinary man's experience of passion and its effects.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • I knew she was overloaded, and was afraid of the effects of a gale.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • Miss Howe rallies her on the effects this intelligence must have upon her generosity.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
British Dictionary definitions for effects


plural noun
Also called personal effects. personal property or belongings
lighting, sounds, etc, to accompany and enhance a stage, film, or broadcast production


something that is produced by a cause or agent; result
power or ability to influence or produce a result; efficacy: with no effect
the condition of being operative (esp in the phrases in or into effect): the law comes into effect at midnight
take effect, to become operative or begin to produce results
basic meaning or purpose (esp in the phrase to that effect)
an impression, usually one that is artificial or contrived (esp in the phrase for effect)
a scientific phenomenon: the Doppler effect
in effect
  1. in fact; actually
  2. for all practical purposes
the overall impression or result: the effect of a painting
(transitive) to cause to occur; bring about; accomplish
See also effects
Derived Forms
effecter, noun
effectible, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin effectus a performing, tendency, from efficere to accomplish, from facere to do
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for effects

"goods, property," 1704, plural of effect (n.).



late 14c., "a result," from Old French efet (13c., Modern French effet) "result, execution, completion, ending," from Latin effectus "accomplishment, performance," from past participle stem of efficere "work out, accomplish," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + facere "to do" (see factitious).

Meaning "impression produced on the beholder" is from 1736. Sense in stage effect, sound effect, etc. first recorded 1881. The verb is from 1580s. Related: Effecting; effection.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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effects in Medicine

effect ef·fect (ĭ-fěkt')

  1. Something brought about by a cause or an agent; a result.

  2. The power to produce an outcome or achieve a result; influence.

  3. A scientific law, hypothesis, or phenomenon.

  4. The condition of being in full force or execution.

  5. Something that produces a specific impression or supports a general design or intention.

v. ef·fect·ed, ef·fect·ing, ef·fects
  1. To bring into existence.

  2. To produce as a result.

  3. To bring about.

ef·fect'er n.
ef·fect'i·ble adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Idioms and Phrases with effects
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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