(countable and uncountable, plural effects)
- The result or outcome of a cause. .
- The effect of the hurricane was a devastated landscape.
- Impression left on the mind; sensation produced.
- (cinematography) An illusion produced by technical means (as in "special effect")
- The effect of flying was most convincing.
- (sound engineering) An alteration in sound after it has been produced by an instrument.
- I use an echo effect here to make the sound more mysterious.
- (sound engineering) A device for producing an alteration in sound produced by an instrument.
- I just bought a couple of great effects.
- Execution; performance; realization; operation.
- (uncountable) The state of being binding and enforceable, as in a rule, policy, or law.
- The new law will come into effect on the first day of next year.
- (physics, psychology, etc.) A scientific phenomenon, usually named after its discoverer.
- Doppler effect
- (usually plural) Belongings, usually as personal effects.
- Consequence intended; purpose; meaning; general intent; with to.
The words “affect” and “effect” can both be used as nouns or verbs, but when used as a noun the word affect is limited to uses in the psychology field, and the above definitions for effect are much more common. See also the usage notes as a verb below.
Adjectives often applied to "effect":
- biological, chemical, cultural, economic, legal, mental, moral, nutritional, personal, physical, physiological, political and social
- actual, bad, beneficial, catastrophic, deleterious, disastrous, devastating, fatal, good, harmful, important, intended, likely, natural, negative, positive, potential, primary, real, secondary, significant, special, strong, undesirable and weak
(third-person singular simple present effects, present participle effecting, simple past and past participle effected)
- To make or bring about; to implement.
- The best way to effect change is to work with existing stakeholders.
- Common misspelling of affect.
Effect is often confused with “affect”. The latter is used to convey the influence over existing ideas, emotions and entities; the former indicates the manifestation of new or original ideas or entities:
- “...new governing coalitions have effected major changes” indicates that major changes were made as a result of new governing coalitions.
- “...new governing coalitions have affected major changes” indicates that before new governing coalitions, major changes were in place, and that the new governing coalitions had some influence over these existing changes.
For noun: from Old French effect (French: effet), from Latin effectus, from efficiō (“accomplish, complete, effect”); see effect as a verb.
For verb: from Latin effectus, perfect passive participle of efficiō (“accomplish, complete, do, effect”), from ex (“out”) + faciō (“do, make”); see fact and compare affect, infect.