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See also: inefficiënt


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in- +‎ efficient


inefficient (comparative more inefficient, superlative most inefficient)

  1. Not efficient; not producing the effect intended or desired; inefficacious
    Celery is an inefficient food.
  2. Incapable of, or indisposed to, effective action; habitually slack or unproductive; effecting little or nothing
    • 1987, Ronald Reagan, Presidential Radio Address January 17, 1987
      The Defense Department, for example, has greatly expanded competitive bidding and is this year submitting to Congress the first-ever 2-year defense budget to replace the old, inefficient, year-by-year process.
    inefficient workers
    an inefficient administrator
    Jessica was terribly inefficient at cleaning, so her brother usually had to clean the whole room.



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inefficient (plural inefficients)

  1. A person who cannot or does not work efficiently.
    • 1889, New York (State). Dept. of Labor. Bureau of Statistics, Annual Report (part 2, page 127)
      Two men were put to work who could not set their looms; a third man was taken on who helped the inefficients to set the looms. The other weavers thought this was a breach of their union rules and 18 of them struck []
    • Jack London
      A general shaking up of the workers from top to bottom would result; and when equilibrium had been restored, the number of the inefficients at the bottom of the Abyss would have been increased by hundreds of thousands.