Meaning of “effective” in the English Dictionary

"effective" in British English

See all translations


uk /ɪˈfek.tɪv/ us /əˈfek.tɪv/

effective adjective (SUCCESSFUL)

B2 successful or achieving the results that you want:

It's an extremely effective cure for a headache.
The lighting for the production made a very effective use of shadow.
She's a very effective teacher.

More examples

noun [ U ] uk /ɪˈfek.tɪv.nəs/ us /əˈfek.tɪv.nəs/


There are doubts about the effectiveness of the new drug (= how successful it is) in treating the disease.

(Definition of “effective” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"effective" in American English

See all translations


us /ɪˈfek·tɪv/

effective adjective (PRODUCING RESULTS)

producing the intended results, or (of a person) skilled or able to do something well:

an effective policy/strategy
We’ve found that giving away samples of our product is the most effective way to promote it.
She’s an effective administrator and knows how to get things done.

effective adjective (IN USE)

(of rules or laws) in official or legal use:

The law becomes effective next month.

(Definition of “effective” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"effective" in Business English

See all translations


uk /ɪˈfektɪv/ us

successful in achieving the result that you want:

You need a workable, effective strategy for developing your business.
Personal charisma alone does not make someone an effective leader.
The consumer council must have clear duties and strong powers if it is to be effective.

having started to operate or be used:

The new Investment Management Agreements became effective on 1st November.
He announced his resignation, effective immediately.

[ before noun ] used to describe what is actually true, although it may not be intended or stated:

The remainder of the stock is owned by a consortium of banks which are in effective control of the hotel.

(Definition of “effective” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)