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English Wikipedia has an article on:


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

For verb: 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.


  • IPA(key): /ɪˈfɛkt/
  • Hyphenation: ef‧fect
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛkt


effect (countable and uncountable, plural effects)

  1. The result or outcome of a cause. See usage notes below.
    • 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[1]:
      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.
    • J. C. Shairp
      patchwork [] introduced for oratorical effect
    • Washington Irving
      The effect was heightened by the wild and lonely nature of the place.
  3. Execution; performance; realization; operation.
    • Shakespeare
      That no compunctious visitings of nature / Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between / The effect and it.
    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.
    • Bible, Chron. xxxiv. 22
      They spake to her to that effect.
  9. (obsolete) Reality; actual meaning; fact, as distinguished from mere appearance.
    • Denham
      no other in effect than what it seems
  10. (obsolete) Manifestation; expression; sign.
    • Shakespeare
      All the large effects / That troop with majesty.

Usage notesEdit

The words “affect” and “effect” can both be used as nouns or verbs, but when used as a noun the word affect is more common 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":


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


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.


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

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

Usage notesEdit

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:

  • “ governing coalitions have effected major changes” indicates that major changes were made as a result of new governing coalitions.
  • “ 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.

Related termsEdit


Further readingEdit


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

Middle FrenchEdit

Alternative formsEdit


effect m (plural effects)

  1. effect


Old FrenchEdit


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