[in-i-fish-uh nt]


not efficient; unable to effect or achieve the desired result with reasonable economy of means.
lacking in ability, incompetent.

Origin of inefficient

First recorded in 1740–50; in-3 + efficient
Related formsin·ef·fi·cient·ly, adverb

Synonyms for inefficient

2. See incapable. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inefficient

Contemporary Examples of inefficient

Historical Examples of inefficient

British Dictionary definitions for inefficient



unable to perform a task or function to the best advantage; wasteful or incompetent
unable to produce the desired result
Derived Formsinefficiency, nouninefficiently, adverb
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 inefficient

1750, "not producing the desired effect," from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + efficient. Related: Inefficiency (1749); inefficiently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper