Definition of effective in English:



  • 1Successful in producing a desired or intended result.

    ‘effective solutions to environmental problems’
    • ‘It just wasn't effective in its goal of stopping the war.’
    • ‘Our professors teach us that effective laws balance equity with efficiency.’
    • ‘And why weren't they more effective in persuading the Indonesians of the importance of this case to Australia?’
    • ‘He pointed out that traffic conditions have worsened through the years because the city's policies are not effective.’
    • ‘It is something that governments can be particularly effective in doing.’
    • ‘First, effective rule requires combining ideological, economic, military and political power.’
    • ‘We have been effective in changing cultural practices in businesses.’
    • ‘The genre of the sports spectacle is particularly effective in producing such narratives.’
    • ‘He was the person who taught me that fear is the best way to get results, and he was very effective in his teaching.’
    • ‘These policies appear to have been highly effective in producing some of the observed changes.’
    • ‘Even opponents of the system concede that it is effective in matching up bullets to the guns that fired them at least some of the time.’
    • ‘Farmers' markets have proved particularly effective in raising awareness of quality local produce which so often gets overlooked.’
    • ‘Until we have a good picture of the extent and nature of poverty we can't develop sustainable, effective policy responses.’
    • ‘It destroys the confidence of minorities in the police necessary for effective law enforcement.’
    • ‘Generally the vaccine is effective in 70 to 90 per cent of the cases, and is effective for up to six months.’
    • ‘To overcome these problems, the new government should first study the causes and then frame concrete and effective policies.’
    • ‘Other family interventions are effective in reducing social problems although the results are mixed.’
    • ‘A container deposit system is also effective in increasing environmental awareness.’
    • ‘A positive approach may be helpful and perhaps more effective in the long run than criticism.’
    • ‘This is not a pretty movie, although it is effective in what it intends to do.’
    successful, effectual, efficacious, productive, constructive, fruitful, functional, potent, powerful
    convincing, compelling, strong, forceful, forcible, powerful, potent, weighty, plausible, efficacious, sound, valid, well founded, telling
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    1. 1.1(of a law, rule, or policy) operative.
      ‘the regulation will be effective from January’
      • ‘The law is effective today and about 100,000 Ohioans are expected to apply for permits in the next six months.’
      • ‘The change is effective from December 12 when the new First Great Western and First Great Western Link timetable is introduced.’
      • ‘The appointments are effective from the date of the merger and subject to RBI approval, a bank press release said.’
      • ‘The Act will then receive Royal Assent and become effective law three months later - hunting could be banned by early 2005.’
      • ‘The new rate increase was to be effective from Jan.1, meaning phone bills for January were set to be based on the new higher rate.’
      • ‘North Lincolnshire Council confirmed that a stop notice was effective from midnight.’
      operative, in force, in effect, in operation, valid, official, signed and sealed
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  • 2[attributive] Existing in fact, though not formally acknowledged as such.

    ‘she has been under effective house arrest since September’
    • ‘The future buyer would exercise effective control over the bank.’
    • ‘Critics have questioned why private companies or charities should be given effective control over state-funded schools.’
    • ‘We saw the terrible harm the terrorists did when they took effective control of the failed state of Afghanistan.’
    • ‘The Italian government holds 32% of its shares, giving it effective control over the company.’
    • ‘This dynamic is amplified in some localities where large firms have attained effective monopoly power.’
    virtual, practical, essential, operative, actual, implied, implicit, unacknowledged, tacit
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    1. 2.1Assessed according to actual rather than face value.
      ‘an effective price of £176 million’
      • ‘In the newly joined member states generally, the effective tax rate is well below the nominal one.’
      • ‘The effective level of tax then is dictated by government outlays.’
      • ‘So if the government lowers the reference price, the effective tax level would go down.’
      • ‘In fact, the effective persistence length is about three times higher than that of naked DNA.’
      • ‘It disclosed that nearly one in five of these high earners paid tax at an effective rate of just 20 per cent.’
      • ‘The President himself has lamented the high effective tax rates paid by low income families.’
      • ‘That will be the near term driver of earnings growth, a higher effective tax charge notwithstanding.’
      • ‘As the levels of funding increase, the effective return on payroll taxes goes up.’
      • ‘When sufficiently strong they can reduce effective size below the actual population size.’
      • ‘The actual effective coverage date could be later if claims processing systems must be changed.’
      • ‘In fact, the effective storage of most hydro tanks is about 18 percent of the total volume.’
      • ‘It is therefore highly necessary to reduce the effective marginal taxation to enhance the incentive to work.’
      final, end, ultimate, concluding, closing
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  • A soldier fit and available for service.

    ‘when the battles broke out, he had a total of 920 effectives’
    • ‘In late June, a Russian army of some 42000 had taken advantage of the overextended lines of communication of Charles XII and his Swedish force of around 19000 effectives, to win an overwhelming victory at Poltava, deep in the Ukraine.’


Late Middle English: from Latin effectivus, from efficere accomplish (see effect).