Definition of effect in US English:

effect

noun

  • 1A change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.

    ‘the lethal effects of hard drugs’
    ‘politicians really do have some effect on the lives of ordinary people’
    • ‘A large effect on compliance resulted from a relatively small intervention effort.’
    • ‘But the way they build their panels and cull their figures has a huge effect on the results.’
    • ‘Why this should result in a specific effect on anxiety remains an enigma.’
    • ‘Labour and Conservatives seem to have forgotten that the student population is large enough to have an effect on the election results.’
    • ‘We could see low-lying islands in the Pacific totally disappear as a result of the effect of greenhouse gases.’
    • ‘The consequences then have an effect on the community as a whole.’
    • ‘The result has a direct effect on the finished product, which is read by the public.’
    • ‘There is no evidence of anything in the whole of the universe that is not the result of being the effect of some cause.’
    • ‘Consequently, the effect of hedge funds selling the Australian dollar went largely unnoticed.’
    • ‘Interestingly, giving the subjects something that blocks the effects of the original drug resulted in the effects of the placebo being lost.’
    • ‘On the other hand, the dry seasons 1996-1998 do not seem to have resulted in such an effect.’
    • ‘This could represent an important source of bias and in a worst case scenario could have a large effect on the results.’
    • ‘There has been an immediate effect as a result of the engine rule, with all the teams doing less laps.’
    • ‘It can be seen that the approximation does not have a large effect on the results.’
    • ‘There are most likely two factors - apart from voter apathy - which have a significant effect on the poll results.’
    • ‘Central to that argument was that cannabis had a different effect from hard drugs such as cocaine or heroin.’
    • ‘It was clear from the start that the strong windy conditions were going to have an immediate effect on the result of the game.’
    • ‘This had a negative effect, resulting in ridiculous relationship standards.’
    • ‘An unfortunate consequence of the terrorist attacks has been a chilling effect on political debate.’
    • ‘The aim is to ensure that young people are fully aware of the damaging health effects and legal consequences of drug use.’
    affect, influence, exert influence on, act on, work on, condition, touch, have an impact on, impact on, take hold of, attack, infect, strike, strike at, hit
    result, consequence, upshot, outcome, out-turn, sequel, reaction, repercussions, reverberations, ramifications
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The state of being or becoming operative.
      • ‘Technically, as all 25 member states must ratify the treaty for it to take effect, it is dead.’
      • ‘But he was quick to add that the new fares would not take effect in the near future.’
      • ‘The long journey and the early start were beginning to take effect.’
      • ‘The move towards more transparency was expected to take effect by the end of this year or early next year.’
      • ‘With the rule changes on hold, we now have the opportunity to void them for good - before they ever take effect.’
      • ‘These are solutions that may take years, even decades to take effect.’
      • ‘Controversial proposals to switch the school year from three terms to six are now virtually certain to take effect across Hampshire.’
      • ‘The order also raises questions about whether the rules will ever be allowed to take effect.’
      • ‘The closure will take effect in February, pending consultation.’
      • ‘The problem is that a revoked visa does not take effect until after the person leaves the United States.’
      • ‘Programmes designed to help them get back to normal life after their release do not have enough time to take effect, he said.’
      • ‘The new harvesting days will take effect in the next three weeks, on Mondays and Tuesdays.’
      • ‘However, those boundary changes will apparently not take effect until after the next federal election.’
      • ‘Becket was armed with letters from the Pope which would take effect upon delivery.’
      • ‘The revisions take effect from this week, says a bank press release.’
      • ‘The first of the lay-offs will take effect from June this year with the remainder of the redundancies in October.’
      • ‘The new rental policy will not come into effect until the outcome of a court appeal which is expected tomorrow.’
      • ‘The parameters of the agreement are due to be specified by mid-April so that the agreement can take effect in late April.’
      • ‘The offer is open to all direct employers in the region with effect from Monday.’
      • ‘Any increase in pay would not go into effect until the following House election.’
      force, operation, enforcement, implementation, execution, action, effectiveness
      implement, apply, put into action, put into practice, execute, enact, carry out, carry through, perform, administer
      come into force, come into operation, come into being, begin, become operative, become valid, become law, apply, be applied
      work, act, be effective, produce results, have the desired effect, be efficacious
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 The extent to which something succeeds or is operative.
      ‘wind power can be used to great effect’
      • ‘Its parapets, grand staircases and sheltered side gardens are used to great effect.’
      • ‘He is trotted out to play a hulking but child-like soldier to no great effect.’
      • ‘The scared women tried to fire emergency flares at the bear, with little effect.’
      • ‘The soundtrack is used to great effect in most scenes, dubious effect in some.’
      • ‘The cinematography is astonishing, almost monochrome, capturing the darkness at the heart of the story, using close ups to great effect.’
      • ‘The central bank has previously attempted to tried to keep pace with inflation by issuing banknotes, with little effect.’
      • ‘The marches that take place occasionally against crime are meaningless and of no effect.’
      • ‘The German Luftwaffe exercised their doctrine of joint operations in support of ground forces to great effect.’
      • ‘The director has used music and songs to great effect here.’
      • ‘In the development process, technology can be tossed around with abandon, with little effect on the audience.’
      • ‘Like most women she tried a few diets with little effect; discouraged she decided to cast a spell to help her drop a few pounds.’
      • ‘Lessons from history teach us that during wars all civil laws are made of no effect.’
      • ‘Within it, works are placed where they will receive maximum exposure whilst also enhancing their surroundings to the greatest effect.’
      • ‘There is also a fair amount of clever wordplay, delivered rapid-fire to great effect.’
      • ‘Most of us have said something of the sort on more than one occasion with little effect.’
    3. 1.3Physics with modifier A physical phenomenon, typically named after its discoverer.
      ‘the Doppler effect’
      • ‘By analogy, the electromagnetic radiation emitted by a moving object also exhibits the Doppler effect.’
      • ‘Atomic beams can act like light waves and exhibit all of the classic wave effects, like interference and refraction.’
      • ‘The energies are just right inside stars, thanks to an unusual quantum effect known as a resonance.’
      • ‘The vibration, though it is not completely circular, provides the rotating reference frame which gives rise to the Coriolis effect.’
      • ‘Heinrich Hertz discovered the photoelectric effect, so called because it was caused by light rays, in 1887.’
    4. 1.4 An impression produced in the mind of a person.
      ‘gentle music can have a soothing effect’
      • ‘Another marine did his best to sneer and look down his nose, though the effect was hardly impressing.’
      • ‘He pointed out that material of that sort could have an effect on impressionable minds.’
      • ‘Clever lighting prevents it from being too dark, though, and the overall effect is impressive.’
      • ‘The effect is impressive, even if the images are familiar to anyone who has logged on to the band's website or seen one of their videos.’
      • ‘We ourselves barely understand a word of it, but the effect is pretty impressive.’
      • ‘Big, beautiful showy flowers have a tranquil effect that soothes you at the end of a long day.’
      • ‘When he did you wondered why he was so reticent, for the effect was impressive enough.’
      • ‘Not an extremely elaborate costume perhaps, but the time, thought and effort was clear to see and the overall effect impressed me no end.’
      • ‘Even researchers are of the same view and psychologists do stress that it has a soothing effect on a disturbed mind.’
      • ‘If all that sounds worryingly alcoholic, fear not: the whole effect was wonderfully impressive.’
      • ‘As colors get closer to each other on the wheel, the more soothing their effect when combined.’
      • ‘Plastic objects fail to give a soothing effect on the mind, according to him.’
      • ‘All very understandable, but the effect on the impressionable minds of our intellectual class has been deleterious.’
      • ‘In Britain, the experience of the revolution had a liberating effect on people's minds.’
      • ‘But this music has always been a part of my life, and its effect is always soothing and uplifting.’
      • ‘The warning of the old-earth proponents was powerful in its effect on the minds of the public.’
      • ‘The sound of the water flowing through the rocks has a soothing effect on the mind.’
      • ‘But he fears the campaign could have a damaging effect on impressionable teenagers.’
      • ‘However, the splashing water also created a nostalgic effect on the minds of onlookers.’
      • ‘It's interesting that how I've laid out the blog site has such an effect on my mind.’
      impact, action, effectiveness, efficacy, efficaciousness, influence
      View synonyms
  • 2effectsThe lighting, sound, or scenery used in a play, movie, or broadcast.

    ‘the production relied too much on spectacular effects’
    • ‘She then added different coloured lighting effects to create what would have been a remarkable theatrical display.’
    • ‘Those technicians would endeavour to provide the particular sound or lighting effects instructed by the promoter.’
    • ‘The film and effects where good, I enjoyed it but really felt I deserved a little more than was given.’
    • ‘There is effective use of puppets and perspective with the library stairs, and some clever lighting effects and physical comedy.’
    • ‘Sound effects and the musical score exhibit excellent fidelity, but the dialogue is harsh with too much noise.’
    • ‘Donnie Darko proves that it's possible to do science fiction with visual effects in the independent film arena.’
    • ‘The other films used very specialised effects and sound - things that were not possible with our equipment.’
    • ‘I was dreading a rehash of the '80s media onslaught detailing the effects behind the film.’
    • ‘There are a multitude of sounds, directional effects, and explosions to thrill any action fan.’
    • ‘Romeo Must Die makes use of similarly impressive visual effects, especially in the hi-octane fight scenes.’
    • ‘The performances are a mixed bag, which is usually the case when a film concentrates on effects so much.’
    • ‘Several reviews have not been kind to the film's effects, particularly the creatures summoned by the game.’
    • ‘We have lots of gory effects in this film, a lot more than Resident Evil had.’
    • ‘The effects were impressive, adding a more realistic touch to the movie.’
    • ‘There is a sequence with a real live tiger, but that's about the extent of the film's visual effects.’
    • ‘The effects of these films leave us in states of astonishment.’
    • ‘Each film has some impressive effects, but in my view The Colossus attains far richer and more consistent value.’
    • ‘There are some great moments in this film featuring multiple directional effects and surround sounds.’
    • ‘What an awful show with bad acting, lousy scripts, ridiculous effects, and poor lighting.’
    • ‘Sound effects can provide a sense of realism for your project.’
  • 3effectsPersonal belongings.

    ‘the insurance covers personal effects’
    • ‘Interestingly in his will he had no personal effects to leave to anyone and he had no surviving family.’
    • ‘Then, after that, we had to bring all of her clothes and personal effects out of storage.’
    • ‘Few personal effects are visible - it looks as if he has just moved in.’
    • ‘Never leave valuables in view most insurance companies will not cover replacement costs for the loss of personal effects.’
    • ‘Your house contents and personal effects, are you sure they won't be stolen?’
    • ‘She had been the victim of a previous break-in in July during which some personal effects were stolen.’
    • ‘There, he discovers boxes of personal effects, including the pulp literature of his youth.’
    • ‘Ten days later, the young man again smashed a car window, this time fleeing the scene with a small number of personal effects.’
    • ‘Two removalists trucks packed up the Butler's personal effects on Saturday to be put into storage.’
    • ‘The personnel effects of officers often comprised a significant portion of the baggage train's total.’
    • ‘Some personal effects, including a full packet of cigarettes and a cigarette lighter were found close to one of the uprooted trees.’
    • ‘She is escorted back to the booking desk where the original officer is waiting with her personal effects.’
    • ‘Do not stop to collect your personal effects, there is no time to waste for this is surely a matter of life and death.’
    • ‘After 1942, my grandfather's letters and personal effects were collected by his older sister.’
    • ‘When I left the final load of my personal effects in my car overnight, you found a brilliant way to drive that point home.’
    • ‘I simply became aware of it as I was burning various personal effects to avoid anyone finding them after I'd gone.’
    • ‘The villa has since been converted into a museum with a gallery of photographs and replicas of Gandhi's personal effects.’
    • ‘Packing up his personal effects and bringing them home was the most upsetting thing I've ever had to do.’
    • ‘I walked in, announced I was quitting and was given enough time to type up my resignation, take my personal effects from my drawers, and was gone.’
    • ‘I've just noticed that after two months I still have no personal effects decorating my desk or office walls apart from a few work type things.’
    belongings, possessions, personal possessions, personal effects, goods, worldly goods, chattels, goods and chattels, accoutrements, appurtenances
    View synonyms

verb

[with object]
  • Cause (something) to happen; bring about.

    ‘nature always effected a cure’
    ‘budget cuts that were quietly effected over four years’
    • ‘He even stated that he need not name every disease or body part, that God's power was effecting a multitude of cures all over the arena.’
    • ‘Finding a good mechanic to repair vintage cars without effecting any alterations in their original look and design is a major headache.’
    • ‘What we still do not know today, in many respects, is how that return was effected.’
    • ‘Both buyer and seller pay the auction house a considerable commission for effecting the transaction.’
    • ‘Impressively, Nelson's interlinking pieces fill the whole gallery, effecting a transformation that fully exploits the possibilities of the space.’
    • ‘In many ways, it's simply been an escalation of the firepower on both sides without necessarily effecting a major change in the outcome.’
    • ‘Banks (or at least their subsidiaries) are often members of these exchanges rather than simply effecting transactions through broker members.’
    • ‘This is the first time she will have effected a change in her style and title without the need to marry a man.’
    • ‘He did not warn that those promoting recall are bent on effecting a massive transfer of wealth from the working majority to those in the top income bracket.’
    • ‘Stable Boys maintained better domination of the game and effected a tactical ball control game.’
    • ‘So the parliament is stacked against any possibility of really effecting the kind of security, peace and economic policies that I believe in.’
    • ‘In effecting these controls, the Parish is making the point that the Church car park is private property and an asset belonging to the Church.’
    • ‘It is only by means of a conceptual violence that their separation is effected.’
    • ‘The acceptances were effected by the execution of the acceptance forms.’
    • ‘Just before this score Lawler had brilliantly effected a double penalty save to keep his side in the contest.’
    • ‘The protracted rebel war in the north of Uganda has effected many changes.’
    • ‘The more ordinary the means employed in effecting this contextual shift, the less we are likely to be able to say at just which point the change took place.’
    • ‘Recently in the media, however, one aspect of the system has been highlighted for effecting drastic change: the courts.’
    • ‘He was grateful to the Government for the role it played in boosting the sales by effecting a ban on imported cement from Zimbabwe which had triggered an increase in the output of the commodity.’
    • ‘The government has come out and assured the settlers that the soldiers who will be effecting the evacuation will do so without arms.’
    achieve, accomplish, carry out, succeed in, realize, attain, manage, bring off, carry off, carry through, execute, conduct, fix, engineer, perform, do, perpetrate, discharge, fulfil, complete, finish, consummate, conclude
    View synonyms

Usage

For the differences in use between effect and affect, see affect

Phrases

  • come into effect

    • Become operative; start to apply.

      ‘similar legislation came into effect in Wales on the same date’
      ‘the Kyoto Protocol officially came into effect last week’
      • ‘Last September, a ban on smoking in the gaming rooms came into effect.’
      • ‘The new rule by the order of Franciscan monks in Croatia comes into effect from this weekend.’
      • ‘In a press release here, the bank said the new rates would come into effect from May 12.’
      • ‘The mayor has received permission for a temporary closing of the fair, which came into effect on April 25.’
      • ‘A new policy, called "offensive deterrence," has come into effect.’
      • ‘A joint medicines regulatory agency is scheduled to come into effect by 1 July 2006.’
      • ‘Thirty two years ago, Majority Rule came into effect.’
      • ‘The ban on fox hunting with dogs finally comes into effect.’
      • ‘The Citizens Information Service new Freephone number comes into effect on 4th November.’
      • ‘At the start of next year, the third phase of tax reform is due to come into effect.’
  • for effect

    • In order to impress people.

      ‘I suspect he's controversial for effect’
      • ‘It seems he has exaggerated the press reports greatly for effect.’
      • ‘But most of what they do is minimal in terms of harm while maximising a particular impression for effect.’
      • ‘Nothing was done for effect, he was incredibly generous, talented and showed great empathy.’
      • ‘There is neither any chopped parsley on the plate's rim nor a twig of rosemary speared into the food for effect.’
      • ‘So many writers in this country are just working for effect and impressions as opposed to good, solid narrative.’
      • ‘If anything, he should be brought in wearing prison garb, perhaps in shackles, just for effect.’
      • ‘I promise total truth on my blog, no stories are exaggerated for effect and it is all from the heart.’
      • ‘He paused for effect and stabbed a finger at the first firm on the list, which happened to be Toyota.’
      • ‘This is a sobering drama, never blatantly reaching for effect, but quietly moving nonetheless.’
      • ‘He indicates a space in front of his nose, then pauses for effect.’
  • in effect

    • 1In operation; in force.

      ‘a moratorium in effect since 1985 has been lifted’
      • ‘My computer is informing me that legal locks are in effect and I can't fire my gun.’
      • ‘I find that she was fully aware that the contract was in effect and binding on her.’
      • ‘Stephenson, on the other hand, thought that a contract must be in effect during the transfer.’
      • ‘The fact is, a very real program is in effect, and its goal is control of the human race!’
      be in force, be in operation, act, stand, apply, be applied, run, be valid, remain valid, be current, function, be efficacious, hold good, be the case, be the order of the day, obtain, hold, be prevalent, prevail, pertain, be established
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Used to convey that something is the case in practice even if it is not formally acknowledged to be so.
        ‘additional payments that are in effect an entrance tax’
        • ‘There was no argument about that, that it was not a payment, in effect, by the company.’
        • ‘It has allowed British Cycling to establish what is, in effect, a professional team.’
        • ‘As to the way in which he conducted his practice he said initially, in effect, that he took no attendance notes.’
        • ‘An inflexible rule protecting such uses would in effect allow the creation of servitudes.’
        • ‘In effect, it is operating as a commercial company but with the cushion against failure provided by the licence fee.’
        • ‘To adopt the petitioner's approach allows me to in effect reassess the costs of the motion.’
        • ‘The new system of Payment by Results instituted what was in effect merit pay for teachers.’
        • ‘In fact, we are about to spend several hundred pages in effect defining advertising.’
        • ‘There is no doubt that this judge, in effect, started pretty close to the top and worked his way down.’
        • ‘In effect, this would result in pensions being actuarially reduced for early payment.’
        really, in reality, in truth, in fact, in actual fact, effectively, essentially, in essence, virtually, practically, in practical terms, for all practical purposes, to all intents and purposes, in all but name, all but, as good as, more or less, as near as dammit, almost, nearly, well nigh, nigh on, just about
        View synonyms
  • put (or bring or carry) something into effect

    • Cause something to apply or become operative.

      ‘they succeeded in putting their strategies into effect’
      • ‘A further 29 full-time sports activity coordinators have been recruited to put the plans into effect across the city.’
      • ‘Business chiefs also thought the Hong Kong government was inefficient in putting policies into effect.’
      • ‘Fortunately we don't get the opportunity to put them into effect.’
      • ‘The Government is pressing for an answer on legislation to put the deal into effect.’
      • ‘Your Executors are responsible for making sure your Will is put into effect.’
      • ‘Sentence of death by fire was given on October 26th, to be carried into effect on the following day.’
      • ‘The convention will oblige signatories, including Ireland, to enact new legislation to bring the provisions into effect.’
      • ‘Legislatures from Hawaii to Massachusetts to North Carolina are taking serious steps toward putting Election Day registration into effect.’
      • ‘Last, the combatant acts, or puts the decision into effect.’
      implement, apply, put into action, put into practice, execute, enact, carry out, carry through, perform, administer
      View synonyms
  • take effect

    • Become operative; start to apply.

      ‘the ban is to take effect in six months’
      • ‘The plan calls for most of the changes to take effect May 1.’
      • ‘The new measure is set to take effect this month.’
      • ‘The law, enacted in response to a state payoff scandal, was set to take effect at the start of the year.’
      • ‘New Hampshire's law legalizing gay marriage took effect Friday.’
      • ‘A national referendum would determine whether the constitution would take effect.’
      • ‘The changes, aimed at further tax reductions for German companies, are now to take effect in 2004.’
      • ‘A state law creating the program took effect Tuesday.’
      • ‘You will need to reboot to have the change take effect.’
      • ‘The order for forced time off takes effect next Friday.’
      • ‘Clearly, our efforts to clean up government are taking effect.’
      come into force, come into operation, come into being, begin, become operative, become valid, become law, apply, be applied
      View synonyms
  • to the effect that

    • Used to refer to the general sense of something written or spoken.

      ‘some comments to the effect that my essay was a little light on analysis’
      • ‘She was babbling something to the effect that, if she could just get his autograph, her life would be complete.’
      • ‘There's a Japanese saying to the effect that if you do a favor for someone you must humbly apologize, because you have caused them to lose face.’
      • ‘He made some announcement to the effect that there had been some fighting.’
      • ‘I've left a comment to the effect that I can't see how they'd be much use in moving people around a city.’
      • ‘There's an old saying in rural Ireland to the effect that if you get the name of getting up early then you can stay in bed all day.’
      • ‘This prompted a comment to the effect that the change in cash flow had caused a large distortion.’
      • ‘Somwhere on this chain a comment was made to the effect that we were becoming a service oriented economy.’
      • ‘In both cases the comments were to the effect that the demand must be made as soon as the officers formed the suspicion.’
      • ‘The passages that we cite in paragraph 14 are to the effect that there were findings about young men.’
      • ‘My problem concerns my daughter, who at the end of last year wrote me a short note to the effect that she wanted no further contact with me.’
  • to that effect

    • Having that result, purpose, or meaning.

      ‘she thought it a foolish rule and put a notice to that effect in a newspaper’
      • ‘If he elects to become the holder he shall give notice to the company to that effect.’
      • ‘Also shops and other organisations offering a discount should be displaying a notice to that effect.’
      • ‘It is likely that she will eventually have to make an explicit but carefully crafted statement to that effect.’
      • ‘While I believe it would be inadvisable to change the law I would welcome arguments to that effect.’
      • ‘We have received notice to that effect and I am just looking at the transcript of the last occasion.’
      • ‘It's amusing due to that fact I was rather enjoying some of his entries up until that point, and left comments to that effect.’
      • ‘You say he made a statement that they were going to get together or words to that effect?’
      • ‘I know you have heard evidence from other witnesses to that effect.’
      • ‘We got that report within hours of that happening and I think some public comments were made to that effect.’
      • ‘I wrote a letter to that effect, and was pleasantly surprised to see it printed a week or so later.’
      sense, meaning, theme, drift, thread, import, purport, intent, intention, burden, thrust, tenor, significance, message
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin effectus, from efficere ‘accomplish’, from ex- ‘out, thoroughly’ + facere ‘do, make’. effect (sense 3 of the noun), ‘personal belongings’, arose from the obsolete sense ‘something acquired on completion of an action’.

Pronunciation

effect

/əˈfɛkt//əˈfekt/