- When no one listens to the leader of the group any more and his power has essentially diminished to nothing, this is an example of an effete leader.
- When academics think that they are intellectually superior to everyone, this is an example of when they might be described as effete.
The definition of effete is someone who lacks vigor or is too soft or over refined, or something that is no longer producing.
- no longer capable of producing; spent and sterile
- lacking vigor, force of character, moral stamina, etc.; decadent, soft, overrefined, etc.
- effeminate; unmanly
Origin of effeteClassical Latin effetus, that has brought forth offspring, exhausted from ex-, out + fetus, productive: for Indo-European base see female
- a. Characterized by extreme refinement or self-indulgence, often to the point of unworldiness or decadence: “the effete taste of people surfeited with expensive comforts” ( R.P.T. Davenport-Hines )b. Having or reflecting an attitude of social superiority; pretentious or snobbish: “Throughout its amateur era tennis was a country club sport, denigrated as elitist and effete” ( Stuart Miller )
- Depleted of vitality, force, or effectiveness; exhausted: the effete monarchies of Europe.
- Effeminate: “As a manly adventurer … [Saint Paul] seemed the perfect rebuttal to our great, if unspoken, fear that the celibate vocation was effete” ( James Carroll )
- Archaic No longer productive; infertile.
Origin of effeteLatin effētus worn out, exhausted ex- ex- fētus bearing young, pregnant ; see dhē(i)- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more effete, superlative most effete)
From Latin effetus (“that has given birth; exhausted”).