Efficient Definition

Producing a desired effect, product, etc. with a minimum of effort, expense, or waste; working well.
Webster's New World
Acting directly to produce an effect.
The efficient cause of the revolution.
American Heritage
Causing less waste or requiring less effort than comparable devices or methods. Used in combination.
Energy-efficient wind turbines; cost-efficient health care.
American Heritage

Making good, thorough, or careful use of resources; not consuming extra. Especially, making good use of time or energy.

An efficient process would automate all the routine work.
Our cleaners are almost too efficient: they throw away anything left out on a desk.

Using a particular proportion of available energy.

The motor is only 20% efficient at that temperature.
Working or operating efficiently with regard to; making efficient use of.
Cost-efficient, energy-efficient.
Webster's New World

Origin of Efficient

  • 1398, "making," from Old French, from Latin efficientem (nominative efficiens), preposition of efficere "work out, accomplish" (see effect). Meaning "productive, skilled" is from 1787. Efficiency apartment is first recorded 1930, American English.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English from Old French from Latin efficiēns efficient- present participle of efficere to effect effect

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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