[ ih-fish-uhnt ]
See synonyms for efficient on Thesaurus.com
  1. 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.

  2. satisfactory and economical to use: Our new air conditioner is more efficient than our old one.

  1. producing an effect, as a cause; causative.

  2. 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

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin efficient- (stem of efficiēns ), equivalent to ef- ef- + fic-, combining form of facere “to make, do1 ” + -ent- -ent

Other words for efficient

Other words from efficient

  • ef·fi·cient·ly, adverb
  • non·ef·fi·cient, adjective
  • qua·si-ef·fi·cient, adjective
  • su·per·ef·fi·cient, adjective
  • un·ef·fi·cient, adjective

Words Nearby efficient

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use efficient in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for efficient


/ (ɪˈfɪʃənt) /

  1. functioning or producing effectively and with the least waste of effort; competent

  2. philosophy producing a direct effect; causative

Origin of efficient

C14: from Latin efficiēns effecting

Derived forms of efficient

  • efficiently, 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