not effective; not producing results; ineffectual: ineffective efforts; ineffective remedies.
inefficient or incompetent; incapable: an ineffective manager.
lacking in artistic effect, as a literary work, theatrical production, or painting.

Origin of ineffective

First recorded in 1645–55; in-3 + effective
Related formsin·ef·fec·tive·ly, adverbin·ef·fec·tive·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for ineffective



having no effect
incompetent or inefficient
Derived Formsineffectively, adverbineffectiveness, noun
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 ineffective

1650s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + effective. Related: Ineffectively; ineffectiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper