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[in-i-fek-choo-uh l] /ˌɪn ɪˈfɛk tʃu əl/

not ; without satisfactory or decisive effect:
an ineffectual remedy.
unavailing; futile:
His efforts to sell the house were ineffectual.
powerless; impotent.
having no effect or an inadequate effect
lacking in power or forcefulness; impotent: an ineffectual ruler

early 15c., from in- (1) “not, opposite of” + effectual. Related: Ineffectually; ineffectuality.


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  • Inefficacious

    [in-ef-i-key-shuh s] /ˌɪn ɛf ɪˈkeɪ ʃəs/ adjective 1. not able to produce the desired effect; ineffective. /ˌɪnɛfɪˈkeɪʃəs/ adjective 1. failing to produce the desired effect adj. 1650s, from in- (1) “not, opposite of” + efficacious. Related: Inefficaciously; inefficaciousness (1640s).

  • Inefficacy

    [in-ef-i-kuh-see] /ɪnˈɛf ɪ kə si/ noun 1. lack of power or capacity to produce the desired effect. n. “want of force or virtue to produce the desired effect,” 1610s, from Late Latin inefficacia, from inefficacem (nominative inefficax), from in- “not, opposite of” (see in- (1)) + efficax (see efficacy).

  • Inefficiency

    [in-i-fish-uh n-see] /ˌɪn ɪˈfɪʃ ən si/ noun, plural inefficiencies for 2. 1. the quality or condition of being ; lack of efficiency. 2. an instance of inefficiency: This work is riddled with inefficiencies.

  • Inefficient

    [in-i-fish-uh nt] /ˌɪn ɪˈfɪʃ ənt/ adjective 1. not ; unable to effect or achieve the desired result with reasonable economy of means. 2. lacking in ability, incompetent. /ˌɪnɪˈfɪʃənt/ adjective 1. unable to perform a task or function to the best advantage; wasteful or incompetent 2. unable to produce the desired result adj. 1750, “not producing […]

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