- performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort; having and using requisite knowledge, skill, and industry; competent; capable: a reliable, efficient assistant.
- satisfactory and economical to use: Our new air conditioner is more efficient than our old one.
- producing an effect, as a cause; causative.
- utilizing a particular commodity or product with the least waste of resources or effort (usually used in combination): a fuel-efficient engine.
Origin of efficient
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for efficient
Build evidence about the practices, policies, and programs that will achieve the most effective and efficient results.Can the U.S. Government Go Moneyball?
Peter Orszag, Jim Nussle
December 23, 2014
Bureaucratic inertia is, by long tradition, the most efficient dispatcher of scandals.The Castration of Alan Turing, Britain’s Code-Breaking WWII Hero
November 29, 2014
It was all so efficient, and also much more fun and inventive than an app.How Straight World Stole ‘Gay’: The Last Gasp of the ‘Lumbersexual’
November 12, 2014
France, and indeed Europe, was on the cusp of a new kind of living where governments needed to be efficient.Napoleon Was a Dynamite Dictator
November 7, 2014
Some call this HIV anxiety ignorant, and argue that protocols on both sides of the industry are efficient in their own ways.Risky Business or None of Your Business? Gay XXX Films and the Condom Question
November 1, 2014
Why did not your most efficient employers dispatch an ordinary assassin?The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
What this efficient cause is, is a question that awakens no responsive inquiry.Life: Its True Genesis
R. W. Wright
And all your Science you have turned to the efficient slaughter of men.The Harbor
Thus we are led forward always from facts to their efficient causes.The Truth About Woman
C. Gasquoine Hartley
Certainly, they115 are not so efficient as those of the older country; how could they be?Culture and Cooking
- functioning or producing effectively and with the least waste of effort; competent
- philosophy producing a direct effect; causative
Word Origin and History for efficient
"capable of producing the desired effect," late 14c., "making, producing immediate effect," from Old French efficient and directly from Latin efficientem (nominative efficiens) "effective, efficient, producing, active," present participle of efficere "work out, accomplish" (see effect). Meaning "productive, skilled" is from 1787. Related: Efficiently.