Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “inefficient”


adjective uk   /ˌɪn.ɪˈfɪʃ.ənt/ us  
C1 not organized, skilled, or able to work in a satisfactory way: Existing methods of production are expensive and inefficient. I'm hopelessly inefficient at mending things.Useless and futile
adverb uk   /-li/ us  
The hotel is inefficiently run.Useless and futile
noun [C or U] uk   /-ə us  
They were accused of gross inefficiency in their handling of the case.Useless and futile
(Definition of inefficient from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of inefficient?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Useless and futile, but you might be interested in these topics from the Using and not using topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “inefficient” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


to send something through the air with force, especially by a sudden movement of the arm

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