View synonyms for effective


[ ih-fek-tiv, ee-fek ]


  1. adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result:

    effective teaching methods; effective steps toward peace.

    Synonyms: competent, capable

    Antonyms: useless, futile

  2. actually in operation or in force; functioning:

    The law becomes effective at midnight.

  3. producing a deep or vivid impression; striking:

    an effective photograph.

  4. prepared and available for service, especially military service.


  1. a member of the armed forces fit for duty or active service.
  2. the effective total of a military force.


/ ɪˈfɛktɪv /


  1. productive of or capable of producing a result
  2. in effect; operative

    effective from midnight

  3. producing a striking impression; impressive

    an effective entrance

  4. prenominal actual rather than theoretical; real

    the effective income after deductions

  5. (of a military force, etc) equipped and prepared for action
  6. physics (of an alternating quantity) having a value that is the square root of the mean of the squares of the magnitude measured at each instant over a defined period of time, usually one cycle See also root mean square


  1. a serviceman who is equipped and prepared for action

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Derived Forms

  • efˈfectiveness, noun
  • efˈfectively, adverb

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Other Words From

  • ef·fec·tive·ly adverb
  • ef·fec·tive·ness ef·fec·tiv·i·ty [ih-fek-, tiv, -i-tee, ee-fek-] noun
  • pre·ef·fec·tive adjective
  • qua·si-ef·fec·tive adjective
  • sub·ef·fec·tive adjective
  • su·per·ef·fec·tive adjective
  • un·ef·fec·tive adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of effective1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English from Latin effectīvus “practical,” equivalent to effect(us), past participle of efficere ( effect ) + -īvus adjective suffix ( -ive )

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Synonym Study

operative. telling.

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Example Sentences

A great way to identify effective keywords is by using Google Trends, one of the world’s largest real-time datasets.

Leading website building tools – such as Wix, Weebly, and WordPress – use technology and analytics to build simple yet effective and useful websites.

The manufacturers will need to prove vaccines are safe and effective in younger bodies.

Quite often, these ads can prove effective in helping you gain new leads.

We’ve rounded up some of the most effective local SEO strategies for small businesses in 2021 to help you get started.

He could deliver a quick, effective speech, or hold a proper press conference.

If the embargo were effective, the Castro brothers would have been doing Love Letters with the Duvaliers years ago.

Build evidence about the practices, policies, and programs that will achieve the most effective and efficient results.

While there are a couple of antibiotics that usually work, if they are overused they, too, may cease to be effective.

In order to know what innovations work, you have to have good information on how effective your practices are.

Whatever can be done to bring about the prompt and effective use of this new system of bank settlement will be done.

It is a notable fact that under the wholly unusual circumstances prevailing, the recovery was so prompt and effective.

However able the matter, the reading, in my judgment, is much less effective than the spontaneous expression of the speaker.

Thus they had secured a monopoly in Munster and an effective competition with us in poor Connaught.

It was ten minutes before she raised her hand and pointed to a wilted but still effective screen.


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When To Use

What are other ways to say effective?

The adjective effective describes things that are adequate to accomplish a purpose, or that produce the intended or expected result. But effective isn’t quite the same as effectual, efficacious, or efficient! Find out why on




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