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90s Slang You Should Know


[in-i-fek-choo-uh l] /ˌɪn ɪˈfɛk tʃu əl/
not effectual; without satisfactory or decisive effect:
an ineffectual remedy.
unavailing; futile:
His efforts to sell the house were ineffectual.
powerless; impotent.
Origin of ineffectual
late Middle English
late Middle English word dating back to 1375-1425; See origin at in-3, effectual
Related forms
ineffectuality, ineffectualness, noun
ineffectually, adverb
2. ineffective, fruitless, pointless, abortive. See useless. 3. feeble, weak. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ineffectual
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Its leading spirit appears no more among his devoted comrades, and without him they are ineffectual.

    Tales of Mean Streets Arthur Morrison
  • How ineffectual so far are all European attempts at democracy!

  • This act of retirement was ineffectual; indeed, it led to worse consequences.

  • So Denton had to resume his ineffectual search for employment.

    Tales of Space and Time Herbert George Wells
  • A policeman made an ineffectual attempt to stop them at Twenty-third Street, but quickly stepped aside to avoid being run down.

    Mortmain Arthur Cheny Train
British Dictionary definitions for ineffectual


having no effect or an inadequate effect
lacking in power or forcefulness; impotent: an ineffectual ruler
Derived Forms
ineffectuality, ineffectualness, noun
ineffectually, adverb
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 ineffectual

early 15c., from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + effectual. Related: Ineffectually; ineffectuality.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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