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English Wikipedia has an article on:


For noun: from Middle English effect, from Old French effect (modern French effet), from Latin effectus (an effect, tendency, purpose), from efficiō (accomplish, complete, effect); see effect as a verb.

For verb: from Middle English effecten, partly from Latin effectus, perfect passive participle of efficiō (accomplish, complete, do, effect), from ex (out) + faciō (do, make) (see fact and compare affect, infect) and partly from the noun effect.



effect (countable and uncountable, plural effects)

  1. The result or outcome of a cause.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, in The Celebrity:
      The stories did not seem to me to touch life. They were plainly intended to have a bracing moral effect, and perhaps had this result for the people at whom they were aimed.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 1, in The China Governess[2]:
      The half-dozen pieces [] were painted white and carved with festoons of flowers, birds and cupids. […]  The bed was the most extravagant piece.  Its graceful cane halftester rose high towards the cornice and was so festooned in carved white wood that the effect was positively insecure, as if the great couch were trimmed with icing sugar.
    • 2013 June 8, “Obama goes troll-hunting”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 55:
      The solitary, lumbering trolls of Scandinavian mythology would sometimes be turned to stone by exposure to sunlight. Barack Obama is hoping that several measures announced on June 4th will have a similarly paralysing effect on their modern incarnation, the patent troll.
    The effect of the hurricane was a devastated landscape.
  2. Impression left on the mind; sensation produced.
    • (Can we date this quote by J. C. Shairp and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      patchwork [] introduced for oratorical effect
    • (Can we date this quote by Washington Irving and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The effect was heightened by the wild and lonely nature of the place.
  3. Execution; performance; realization; operation.
    1. (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.
  4. (cinematography) An illusion produced by technical means (as in "special effect")
    The effect of flying was most convincing.
  5. (sound engineering) An alteration, or device for producing an alteration, in sound after it has been produced by an instrument.
    I use an echo effect here to make the sound more mysterious.
    I just bought a couple of great effects.
  6. (physics, psychology, etc.) A scientific phenomenon, usually named after its discoverer.
    Doppler effect
  7. (usually in the plural) Belongings, usually as personal effects.
  8. Consequence intended; purpose; meaning; general intent; with to.
  9. (obsolete) Reality; actual meaning; fact, as distinguished from mere appearance.
    • (Can we date this quote by Denham and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      no other in effect than what it seems
  10. (obsolete) Manifestation; expression; sign.

Usage notes[edit]

Do not confuse with affect.

Adjectives often applied to "effect":


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


  1. ^ Deterding, David; Hvitfeldt, Robert (1994), “The Features of Singapore English Pronunciation: Implications for Teachers”, in Teaching and Learning[1] (in English), volume 15, issue 1, pages 98–107


effect (third-person singular simple present effects, present participle effecting, simple past and past participle effected)

  1. (transitive) To make or bring about; to implement.
    The best way to effect change is to work with existing stakeholders.
  2. Misspelling of affect.

Usage notes[edit]

Effect is often confused with affect. The latter suggests 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 those existing changes.

Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]


Dutch Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia nl


  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: ef‧fect


effect n (plural effecten, diminutive effectje n)

  1. effect
  2. (finance) negotiable instrument


  • Indonesian: efek

Middle French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


effect m (plural effects)

  1. effect


Old French[edit]


effect m (oblique plural effecz or effectz, nominative singular effecz or effectz, nominative plural effect)

  1. effect
  2. (law) judgment; decree
    • punir les contrevenantz solonc l’effect des estatut
      Punish the offender according to the decree of the statute