plural noun

goods; movables; personal property.

Origin of effects

plural of effect

Synonym study




something that is produced by an agency or cause; result; consequence: Exposure to the sun had the effect of toughening his skin.
power to produce results; efficacy; force; validity; influence: His protest had no effect.
the state of being operative or functional; operation or execution; accomplishment or fulfillment: to bring a plan into effect.
a mental or emotional impression produced, as by a painting or a speech.
meaning or sense; purpose or intention: She disapproved of the proposal and wrote to that effect.
the making of a desired impression: We had the feeling that the big, expensive car was only for effect.
an illusory phenomenon: a three-dimensional effect.
a real phenomenon (usually named for its discoverer): the Doppler effect.

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.

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
Related formsef·fect·i·ble, adjectivepre·ef·fect, noun, verb (used with object)un·ef·fect·ed, adjectiveun·ef·fect·i·ble, adjectivewell-ef·fect·ed, adjective
Can be confusedaffect effect (see usage note at affect1)

Synonyms for effect

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.

Usage note

See affect1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for effects

goods, paraphernalia, things, stuff, property, trappings

Examples from the Web for effects

Contemporary Examples of effects

Historical Examples of effects

British Dictionary definitions for effects


pl n

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



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
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 effects

"goods, property," 1704, plural of effect (n.).



late 14c., "a result," from Old French efet (13c., Modern French effet) "result, execution, completion, ending," from Latin effectus "accomplishment, performance," from past participle stem of efficere "work out, accomplish," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + facere "to do" (see factitious).

Meaning "impression produced on the beholder" is from 1736. Sense in stage effect, sound effect, etc. first recorded 1881. The verb is from 1580s. Related: Effecting; effection.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

effects in Medicine




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 effects


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.