Meaning of “efficient” in the English Dictionary

"efficient" in British English

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uk /ɪˈfɪʃ.ənt/ us /ɪˈfɪʃ.ənt/

B1 working or operating quickly and effectively in an organized way:

The city's transport system is one of the most efficient in Europe.
We need someone really efficient who can organize the office and make it run smoothly.

More examples

  • Modern-day engines are so much more efficient.
  • Debbie is directly responsible for the efficient running of the office.
  • Bicycles are a cheap and efficient form of transport.
  • Recent medical discoveries are already pointing the way to more efficient vaccines.
  • We could reduce our costs by developing a more efficient distribution network.
adverb uk /ɪˈfɪʃ.ə us /ɪˈfɪʃ.ə


She runs the business very efficiently.

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

"efficient" in American English

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us /ɪˈfɪʃ·ənt/

working or operating in a way that gets the results you want without any waste:

an efficient organization
They are developing a more fuel-efficient car to save gas.
adverb us /ɪˈfɪʃ·ənt·li/

She manages the business efficiently.

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

"efficient" in Business English

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uk /ɪˈfɪʃənt/ us

using resources such as time, materials, or energy well without wasting any:

an efficient method/use/way
The car combines an efficient 2.3-liter four-cylinder gas engine with a battery pack and electric motor.
He is a leading proponent of broad changes in the Postal Service to make it more efficient and competitive.

working well and quickly:

an efficient operation/service/system
The lawyers working on the case were skilled, efficient, and fair.
adverb /ɪˈfɪʃəntli/

Incentives like these encourage airlines to move the maximum number of passengers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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