ineffective

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.

DEFINITIONS OF: ineffective

1

adj not producing an intended effect

“an ineffective teacher”
ineffective legislation”
Synonyms:
ineffectual, uneffective
idle
not in action or at work
toothless
lacking necessary force for effectiveness
unproductive
not producing desired results
inefficacious
lacking the power to produce a desired effect
inefficient
not producing desired results; wasteful
powerless
lacking power
useless
having no beneficial use or incapable of functioning usefully
Antonyms:
effective, effectual, efficacious
producing or capable of producing an intended result or having a striking effect
hard-hitting, trenchant
characterized by or full of force and vigor
impelling
markedly effective as if by emotional pressure
impressive, telling
producing a strong effect
rough-and-ready
crude but effective for the purpose at hand
efficacious
marked by qualities giving the power to produce an intended effect
efficient
being effective without wasting time or effort or expense
potent, stiff, strong
having a strong physiological or chemical effect
powerful
having great power or force or potency or effect
useful, utile
being of use or service
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adj lacking in power or forcefulness

Synonyms:
ineffectual, unable
impotent
lacking power or ability

adj lacking the ability or skill to perform effectively; inadequate

“an ineffective administration”
Synonyms:
inefficient
incompetent
not qualified or suited for a purpose
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