Use the adjective ineffective to describe something that doesn't work quite the way it's supposed to. You might complain about your ineffective guard dog, who wags his tail and licks everyone who comes to your house.
When you're ineffective, you're unable to accomplish something you're trying to do. You might realize that you're an ineffective babysitter when you can't get the kids to go to bed. Ineffective comes from the Latin prefix in, "not, or opposite of," added to effective, whose Latin root is effectivus, "productive." When something's unproductive, inefficient, or incapable, it's ineffective.
adj not producing an intended effect
not in action or at work
lacking necessary force for effectiveness
not producing desired results
lacking the power to produce a desired effect
not producing desired results; wasteful
having no beneficial use or incapable of functioning usefully
effective, effectual, efficacious
producing or capable of producing an intended result or having a striking effect
characterized by or full of force and vigor
markedly effective as if by emotional pressure
producing a strong effect
crude but effective for the purpose at hand
marked by qualities giving the power to produce an intended effect
being effective without wasting time or effort or expense
potent, stiff, strong
having a strong physiological or chemical effect
having great power or force or potency or effect
being of use or service
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