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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
ef•fec•tive /ɪˈfɛktɪv/USA pronunciation   adj. 
  1. able to accomplish a purpose:very effective teaching methods.
  2. in operation or in force; functioning: The law becomes effective at midnight.
  3. real;
    in fact but not in theory[before a noun]The militia was the effective government at the time.
  4. producing a deep or strong impression;
    striking: an effective photograph.
ef•fec•tive•ness,n. [uncountable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
ef•fec•tive  (i fektiv), 
  1. adequate to accomplish a purpose;
    producing the intended or expected result:effective teaching methods; effective steps toward peace.
  2. actually in operation or in force;
    functioning:The law becomes effective at midnight.
  3. producing a deep or vivid impression; striking:an effective photograph.
  4. Militaryprepared and available for service, esp. military service.

  1. Militarya member of the armed forces fit for duty or active service.
  2. Militarythe effective total of a military force.
  • Latin effectīvus practical, equivalent. to effect(us), past participle of efficere (see effect) + -īvus -ive
  • Middle English 1350–1400
ef•fective•ly, adv. 
ef•fective•ness, ef•fec•tivi•ty, n. 
1 . capable, competent. Effective, effectual, efficacious, efficient refer to that which is able to produce a (desired) effect. Effective is applied to that which has the power to, or which actually does, produce an effect:an effective action, remedy, speech.Effectual is used esp. of that which produces the effect desired or intended, or a decisive result:An effectual bombardment silenced the enemy.Efficacious suggests the capability of achieving a certain end:an efficacious plan, medicine.Efficient (applied also to persons) implies the skillful use of energy or industry to accomplish desired results with little waste of effort:efficient methods; an efficient manager. 2 . operative. 3 . telling. 1 . futile, useless.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

effective /ɪˈfɛktɪv/ adj
  1. productive of or capable of producing a result
  2. in effect; operative
  3. producing a striking impression; impressive: an effective entrance
  4. (prenominal) actual rather than theoretical; real
  5. (of a military force, etc) equipped and prepared for action
  1. a serviceman who is equipped and prepared for action

efˈfectively adv efˈfectiveness n

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