verb (used with object)

to produce as an effect; bring about; accomplish; make happen: The new machines finally effected the transition to computerized accounting last spring.

Nearby words

  1. efavirenz,
  2. eff,
  3. eff.,
  4. effable,
  5. efface,
  6. effected,
  7. effecter,
  8. effective,
  9. effective conjugate,
  10. effective current


    in effect,
    1. for practical purposes; virtually: His silence was in effect a confirmation of the rumor.
    2. essentially; basically.
    3. operating or functioning; in force: The plan is now in effect.
    take effect,
    1. to go into operation; begin to function.
    2. to produce a result: The prescribed medicine failed to take effect.

Origin of effect

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin effectus the carrying out (of a task, etc.), hence, that which is achieved, outcome, equivalent to effec- (variant stem of efficere to make, carry out; ef- ef- + -ficere, combining form of facere to do1) + -tus suffix of v. action

1. outcome, issue. Effect, consequence ( s ), result refer to something produced by an action or a cause. An effect is that which is produced, usually more or less immediately and directly: The effect of morphine is to produce sleep. A consequence, something that follows naturally or logically, as in a train of events or sequence of time, is less intimately connected with its cause than is an effect: Punishment is the consequence of disobedience. A result may be near or remote, and often is the sum of effects or consequences as making an end or final outcome: The English language is the result of the fusion of many different elements. 10. achieve, realize, fulfill, perform, consummate.

Related forms
Can be confusedaffect effect (see usage note at affect1)

Usage note

See affect1.



plural noun

goods; movables; personal property.

Origin of effects

plural of effect

Synonym study

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for effect

British Dictionary definitions for effect



something that is produced by a cause or agent; result
power or ability to influence or produce a result; efficacywith no effect
the condition of being operative (esp in the phrases in or into effect)the law comes into effect at midnight
take effect to become operative or begin to produce results
basic meaning or purpose (esp in the phrase to that effect)
an impression, usually one that is artificial or contrived (esp in the phrase for effect)
a scientific phenomenonthe Doppler effect
in effect
  1. in fact; actually
  2. for all practical purposes
the overall impression or resultthe effect of a painting


(tr) to cause to occur; bring about; accomplish
See also effects

Derived Formseffecter, nouneffectible, adjective

Word Origin for effect

C14: from Latin effectus a performing, tendency, from efficere to accomplish, from facere to do


pl n

Also called: personal effects personal property or belongings
lighting, sounds, etc, to accompany and enhance a stage, film, or broadcast production
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

Word Origin and History for effect
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for effect




Something brought about by a cause or an agent; a result.
The power to produce an outcome or achieve a result; influence.
A scientific law, hypothesis, or phenomenon.
The condition of being in full force or execution.
Something that produces a specific impression or supports a general design or intention.


To bring into existence.
To produce as a result.
To bring about.
Related formsef•fecti•ble adj.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with effect


see in effect; into effect; take effect; to that effect.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.