effective

If your email outlining a plan to reduce office paper waste resulted in a 20 percent reduction in paper use, that means your plan was effective: it did what you wanted it to do.

The adjective effective has many shades of meaning, but you'll usually see it describing something that's able to produce a desired goal. Effective traces back to the Latin word effectivus, from efficere, meaning “work out, accomplish,” and that meaning still holds true. Something effective gets the job done. As President, hopefully your policies are effective. We also use effective for something real and in effect, like the effective price of gas, or your effective grounding.

Definitions of effective
1

adj producing or capable of producing an intended result or having a striking effect

“"an air-cooled motor was more effective than a witch's broomstick for rapid long-distance transportation"-LewisMumford”
effective teaching methods”
effective steps toward peace”
“made an effective entrance”
Synonyms:
effectual, efficacious
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
Antonyms:
ineffective, ineffectual, uneffective
not producing an intended effect
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
show more antonyms...

adj works well as a means or remedy

“an effective reprimand”
“a lotion that is effective in cases of prickly heat”
Synonyms:
efficacious
marked by qualities giving the power to produce an intended effect

adj able to accomplish a purpose; functioning effectively

“"people who will do nothing unless they get something out of it for themselves are often highly effective persons..."-G.B.Shaw”
effective personnel”
Synonyms:
efficient
competent
properly or sufficiently qualified or capable or efficient

adj exerting force or influence

“the law is effective immediately”
Synonyms:
good, in effect, in force
operative
being in force or having or exerting force

adj existing in fact; not theoretical; real

“a decline in the effective demand”
“confused increased equipment and expenditure with the quantity of effective work done”
Synonyms:
actual, existent
presently existing in fact and not merely potential or possible

adj ready for service

“the fort was held by about 100 effective soldiers”
Synonyms:
operational
(military) of or intended for or involved in military operations

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