Definition of effects test in US English:

effects test

noun

  • 1Originally US a test of a nuclear weapon carried out to determine its effect on the environment, other military systems, etc., rather than to provide information on the weapon itself.

  • 2US Law a means of making a legal judgment whereby only the effects of an action (rather than intent) are taken into consideration; specifically (in equal opportunities law) a criterion by which a measure which has a discriminatory effect is itself deemed discriminatory, regardless of intent.

Origin

1950s; earliest use found in Nevada State Journal.