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side effect

or side-effect

any effect of a drug, chemical, or other medicine that is in addition to its intended effect, especially an effect that is harmful or unpleasant.
any accompanying or consequential and usually detrimental effect:
the side effects of air pollution.
Origin of side effect
1880-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for side effect
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Historical Examples
  • Any complex system is sport for a hacker; a side effect of this is the hacker's natural affinity for problems involving security.

    Little Brother Cory Doctorow
British Dictionary definitions for side effect

side effect

any unwanted nontherapeutic effect caused by a drug Compare aftereffect (sense 2)
any secondary effect, esp an undesirable one
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 side effect

also side-effect, 1884, from side (adj.) + effect (n.). Medical use, with reference to drugs, is recorded from 1939.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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side effect in Medicine

side effect n.
A peripheral or secondary effect, especially an undesirable secondary effect of a drug or therapeutic regimen.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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