Alternative formsEdit


From Latin effētus ‎(that has given birth; exhausted).



effete ‎(comparative more effete, superlative most effete)

  1. (obsolete) Of substances, quantities etc: exhausted, spent, worn-out.
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, II.4.1.v:
      Nature is not effœte, as he saith, or so lavish, to bestow all her gifts upon an age, but hath reserved some for posterity, to shew her power, that she is still the same, and not old or consumed.
  2. (now rare) Of people: lacking strength or vitality; feeble, powerless, impotent.
    • 1929, George Macaulay Trevelyan, History of England: From 1485 to the End of the Reign of Queen Anne, 1714, page 457:
      Amid the effete monarchies and princedoms of feudal Europe, morally and materially exhausted by the Thirty Years' War, the only hope of resistance to France lay in the little Republic of merchants, Holland.
  3. Decadent, weak through self-indulgence.
  4. Effeminate.
    • 1951, Herman Wouk, The Caine Mutiny, page 27:
      a good-humored, effete boy brought up by maiden aunts.

Derived termsEdit


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  1. vocative masculine singular of effētus