Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

effete

[ih-feet]
See more synonyms for effete on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. lacking in wholesome vigor; degenerate; decadent: an effete, overrefined society.
  2. exhausted of vigor or energy; worn out: an effete political force.
  3. unable to produce; sterile.
Show More

Origin of effete

1615–25; < Latin effēta exhausted from bearing, equivalent to ef- ef- + fēta having brought forth, feminine past participle of lost v.; see fetus
Related formsef·fete·ly, adverbef·fete·ness, nounnon·ef·fete, adjectivenon·ef·fete·ly, adverbnon·ef·fete·ness, nounun·ef·fete, adjectiveun·ef·fete·ness, noun
Can be confusedeffeminate effete feminine womanish womanly (see synonym study at womanly)

Synonyms for effete

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
2. enervated, debilitated.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for effete

corrupt, debased, decadent, decayed, decrepit, degenerate, dissipated, dissolute, drained, enervated, feeble, immoral, obsolete, soft, spent, washed-out, wasted, weak, declining, enfeebled

Examples from the Web for effete

Contemporary Examples of effete

Historical Examples of effete


British Dictionary definitions for effete

effete

adjective
  1. weak, ineffectual, or decadent as a result of overrefinementan effete academic
  2. exhausted of vitality or strength; worn out; spent
  3. (of animals or plants) no longer capable of reproduction
Show More
Derived Formseffetely, adverbeffeteness, noun

Word Origin for effete

C17: from Latin effētus having produced young, hence, exhausted by bearing, from fētus having brought forth; see fetus
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 effete

adj.

1620s, from Latin effetus (usually in fem. effeta) "exhausted, unproductive, worn out (with bearing offspring), past bearing," literally "that has given birth," from a lost verb, *efferi, from ex- "out" (see ex-) + fetus "childbearing, offspring" (see fetus). Figurative use is earliest in English; literal use is rare. Sense of "exhausted" is 1660s; that of "intellectually or morally exhausted" (1790) led to "decadent" (19c.).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper