Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “effective”


adjective [before noun] (IN FACT)    /ɪˈfek.tɪv/
in fact , although not officially : Although she's not officially our boss , she's in effective control of the office .True, real, false, and unreal Grammar:Efficient or effective?Efficient and effective are adjectives.
(Definition of effective adjective (IN FACT) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of effective

Definitions of “effective” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


relating to behaviour between people that is pleasant and friendly, often despite a difficult situation

Word of the Day


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