- lacking in wholesome vigor; degenerate; decadent: an effete, overrefined society.
- exhausted of vigor or energy; worn out: an effete political force.
- unable to produce; sterile.
Origin of effete
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for effete
Some critics have made the same sorts of arguments about the remote and effete president.The McConnell Friend Obama Just Hired
November 10, 2014
Unlike their effete northeastern shadows, country boys rarely fade away.Let Us Now Praise Famous Rednecks and Their Unjustly Unsung Kin
August 23, 2014
The courtiers were an effete and in some cases epicene crew.Queen Victoria’s Secret Scottish Sex Castle
August 17, 2014
It sees test scores as effete and irrelevant, like the older privileges of birth.We Need More Class Traitors: Solving America’s Meritocracy Problem
April 20, 2014
When I went to basketball camp, the boys from the real West Virginia would make fun of us effete Morgantown kids.In West Virginia Water, an Environmental Nightmare Borders on Crisis
January 10, 2014
No mistaking you for anything but what you are—the sickly product of an effete civilisation.Audrey Craven
Only look at the theological quiddities of effete scholasticism.Erasmus and the Age of Reformation
They call us rough, and we try to get even by terming them effete.The Prairie Mother
In fine, it will become old and effete, no less truly than the individual.Natural Law in the Spiritual World
She scorned the suggestion that a bath-room be added; an effete idea.The Heart of Arethusa
Francis Barton Fox
- weak, ineffectual, or decadent as a result of overrefinementan effete academic
- exhausted of vitality or strength; worn out; spent
- (of animals or plants) no longer capable of reproduction
Word Origin and History for effete
1620s, from Latin effetus (usually in fem. effeta) "exhausted, unproductive, worn out (with bearing offspring), past bearing," literally "that has given birth," from a lost verb, *efferi, from ex- "out" (see ex-) + fetus "childbearing, offspring" (see fetus). Figurative use is earliest in English; literal use is rare. Sense of "exhausted" is 1660s; that of "intellectually or morally exhausted" (1790) led to "decadent" (19c.).