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[in-i-fek-choo-uh l] /ˌɪn ɪˈfɛk tʃu əl/
not effectual; without satisfactory or decisive effect:
an ineffectual remedy.
unavailing; futile:
His efforts to sell the house were ineffectual.
powerless; impotent.
Origin of ineffectual
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English; see in-3, effectual
Related forms
ineffectuality, ineffectualness, noun
ineffectually, adverb
2. ineffective, fruitless, pointless, abortive. See useless. 3. feeble, weak. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ineffectual
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Its leading spirit appears no more among his devoted comrades, and without him they are ineffectual.

    Tales of Mean Streets Arthur Morrison
  • The same thoughts might look cold and ineffectual, in a printed book.

    A Book of Autographs Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • This act of retirement was ineffectual; indeed, it led to worse consequences.

  • Ione struggled to her feet and tried to help, but her efforts were ineffectual.

    The Einstein See-Saw Miles John Breuer
  • A policeman made an ineffectual attempt to stop them at Twenty-third Street, but quickly stepped aside to avoid being run down.

    Mortmain Arthur Cheny Train
British Dictionary definitions for ineffectual


having no effect or an inadequate effect
lacking in power or forcefulness; impotent: an ineffectual ruler
Derived Forms
ineffectuality, ineffectualness, noun
ineffectually, adverb
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 ineffectual

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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