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

Examples from the Web for ineffectively

Contemporary Examples of ineffectively

Historical Examples of ineffectively

  • The intrigue is wearisome: its involutions are ineffectively puzzling.

  • He answered dismally and ineffectively: "We'll have to go on pretending to be—just friends."

    Excuse Me!

    Rupert Hughes

  • I wanted to tell it, howsoever poorly and ineffectively it was done.

    The White People

    Frances Hodgson Burnett

  • He hurried after the boy and caught him fiercely if ineffectively by the arm.

    The Wishing Moon

    Louise Elizabeth Dutton

  • Here have I been ineffectively trying to waken the fellow for the past hour.

    Mr. Prohack

    E. Arnold Bennett

British Dictionary definitions for ineffectively



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 ineffectively



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper