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[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ineffectually
Historical Examples
  • Cunningly did he ply his sword before them, but ineffectually.

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini
  • Again he searched his own thoughts; nor ineffectually as before.

    A Simple Story Mrs. Inchbald
  • They strove earnestly but ineffectually to trace the necklace.

    The Queen's Necklace

    Alexandre Dumas pre
  • Similar opposition was offered at many other points, but ineffectually.

    Lives of the Engineers Samuel Smiles
  • I endeavoured to pacify him, by representing the danger, but ineffectually.

  • But though he made such protest with warmth, he knew that he did so ineffectually.

    Framley Parsonage

    Anthony Trollope
  • Then he made an attempt to raise his hand to his head, but ineffectually.

    In the Roar of the Sea Sabine Baring-Gould
  • "I have striven to do so, but ineffectually," said the host.

    Boscobel: or, the royal oak William Harrison Ainsworth
  • These ailments were ineffectually doctored, one after another, in a variety of ways.

    The Modern Malady Cyril Bennett
  • Mr. Byno tried to laugh him out of the idea, but ineffectually.

    The Ghost World

    T. F. Thiselton (Thomas Firminger Thiselton) Dyer
British Dictionary definitions for ineffectually


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 ineffectually



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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