9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ih-fish-uh nt] /ɪˈfɪʃ ənt/
performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort; having and using requisite knowledge, skill, and industry; competent; capable:
a reliable, efficient assistant.
satisfactory and economical to use:
Our new air conditioner is more efficient than our old one.
producing an effect, as a cause; causative.
utilizing a particular commodity or product with the least waste of resources or effort (usually used in combination):
a fuel-efficient engine.
Origin of efficient
1350-1400; Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin efficient- (stem of efficiēns), equivalent to ef- ef- + fic-, combining form of facere to make, do1 + -ent- -ent
Related forms
efficiently, adverb
nonefficient, adjective
nonefficiently, adverb
quasi-efficient, adjective
quasi-efficiently, adverb
superefficient, adjective
unefficient, adjective
1. effectual. See effective. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for efficiently
  • No system can perform efficiently when one is looking for a needle in a haystack by checking each straw individually.
  • Ingesting this slower air allows an engine to burn its fuel more efficiently while generating the same amount of thrust.
  • Chewing is important because it enables animals to break down and efficiently process many different kinds of vegetation.
  • To go farther into space, humans will first have to figure out how to get there cheaply and more efficiently.
  • The butterflies' similar appearance imparts the don't-eat-us lesson more efficiently.
  • In essence, the shelves in its shops are a highly efficiently managed depot.
  • Green plants have been using photosynthesis for billions of years to efficiently convert sunlight into energy.
  • He said the genetic mutation seems to make people sleep more efficiently.
  • Perhaps some kids need to be guided to work more efficiently.
  • The duo of smartphones were used to test and investigate how humans and robots can coexist in space more efficiently.
British Dictionary definitions for efficiently


functioning or producing effectively and with the least waste of effort; competent
(philosophy) producing a direct effect; causative
Derived Forms
efficiently, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin efficiēns effecting
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for efficiently



"capable of producing the desired effect," late 14c., "making, producing immediate effect," from Old French efficient and directly from Latin efficientem (nominative efficiens) "effective, efficient, producing, active," present participle of efficere "work out, accomplish" (see effect). Meaning "productive, skilled" is from 1787. Related: Efficiently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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