Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “effect”

effect

noun uk   /ɪˈfekt/ us  

effect noun (RESULT)

B1 [C or U] the result of a particular influence: The radiation leak has had a disastrous effect on/upon the environment. I tried taking tablets for the headache but they didn't have any effect. I think I'm suffering from the effects of too little sleep. She has a lot of confidence which she uses to good effect (= to her advantage) in interviews.
See also
Outcomes and consequences
take effect C1 to produce or achieve the results you want: They had to wait ten minutes for the anaesthetic to take effect before they stitched up the cut.Outcomes and consequences for effect If you say or do something for effect, you intentionally do it to shock people or attract their attention: I get the impression that she uses bad language in meetings for effect.Making people sad, shocked and upset in effect C2 in fact, or in practice: So in effect the government have lowered taxes for the rich and raised them for the poor.True, real, false, and unreal to that effect (also to the effect that) used to express that what you are reporting is only a short and general form of what was really said: She said she was unhappy, or words to that effect. He said something to the effect that he would have to change jobs if the situation continued.Approximate

effect noun (USE)

C2 [U] use: The present system of payment will remain in effect (= be used) until the end of the rental agreement. When do the new driving laws come into effect? The new salary increases will take effect (= begin) from January onwards.Using and misusing

effect noun (THEATRE, ETC.)

effects [plural] (also special effects) B1 lighting, sounds, and objects that are specially produced for the stage or a film and are intended to make something that does not exist seem real: This is a movie worth seeing for its effects alone.Production, direction and recording

effect noun (POSSESSIONS)

effects [plural] specialized a person's possessions, especially after their death: It says on the form that the insurance covers all personal effects.Belongings and possessions

effect

verb [T] uk   /ɪˈfekt/ formal us  
to achieve something and cause it to happen: As a political party they are trying to effect a change in the way that we think about our environment.Causing things to happenSucceeding, achieving and fulfilling
(Definition of effect from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of effect?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “effect” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

microbrewery

a small company that makes beer, usually using traditional methods, and often has a restaurant where its beer is served

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More