Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (idiomatic) An unintended consequence of any action in addition to the intended consequence of that action.
1987, Brundtland Report:
- The processing of certain raw materials - pulp and paper, oil, and alumina, for example - can have substantial environmental side effects.
1980, Advanced Automation for Space Missions:
- A side effect of this architecture (which was designed only for efficient fabrication) is that it also performs automated repair.
2007, Sylvia Escott-Stump, Nutrition and Diagnosis-Related Care:
- Useful for mild depression but may trigger coronary problems. A positive side effect is that it may actually help with degenerative joint disease symptoms.
- (idiomatic, medicine) An adverse effect, an unintended consequence of a drug or therapy; usually not a beneficial effect.
- (computing) A change in state caused by a function call (typically "side-effect").
- Eiffel is somewhat purist about insisting that functions have no side effects.
- Adjectives often applied to "side effect": mild, moderate, serious, severe, dangerous, unpleasant, debilitating, negative, positive, nasty, bad, horrible, terrible, painful, unexpected, unintended, strong, obvious, etc.
unintended consequence of any action
medicine: an adverse effect