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 ineffectiveness

Contemporary Examples of ineffectiveness

Historical Examples of ineffectiveness

  • Now, at last, he had no cunning, and he was hazily conscious of his ineffectiveness.

  • In the diagram, Fig. 108, the ineffectiveness of the thrust is shown at those points.


    James Slough Zerbe

  • The result of half-knowledge is always flabbiness and ineffectiveness.

    Expository Writing

    Mervin James Curl

  • To the want of balance was chiefly due the ineffectiveness of these hints.

    The Bright Messenger

    Algernon Blackwood

  • The worst feature of the experiment was its ineffectiveness.

British Dictionary definitions for ineffectiveness



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 ineffectiveness



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper