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[in-i-fek-tiv] /ˌɪn ɪˈfɛk tɪv/
not effective; not producing results; ineffectual:
ineffective efforts; ineffective remedies.
inefficient or incompetent; incapable:
an ineffective manager.
lacking in artistic effect, as a literary work, theatrical production, or painting.
Origin of ineffective
1645-55; in-3 + effective
Related forms
ineffectively, adverb
ineffectiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ineffective
  • But much education work has been labelled ineffective.
  • The bomber's intent to die makes deterrents ineffective.
  • School officials ended the program earlier this year, calling it ineffective.
  • Nonetheless, her government's response has been criticised as tardy and ineffective.
  • Some homemade remedies are ineffective and can even be detrimental to skin.
  • They can try to keep the cash out through controls on foreign capital, but these are often ineffective.
  • That's good in theory, but totally ineffective in practice.
  • Campuses are collectively incredibly sick and ineffective places for generating genuinely open-minds.
  • Paying for ineffective procedures means that others are denied access to effective medical care.
  • They also say the machines would be ineffective at spotting explosives hidden in body cavities.
British Dictionary definitions for ineffective


having no effect
incompetent or inefficient
Derived Forms
ineffectively, adverb
ineffectiveness, noun
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 ineffective

1650s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + effective. Related: Ineffectively; ineffectiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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