English edit

Etymology edit

From Old French efficace, from Late Latin efficācia (efficacy), from efficāx (efficacious); see efficacious.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈɛf.ɪ.kə.si/
    • (file)

Noun edit

efficacy (usually uncountable, plural efficacies)

  1. Ability to produce a desired effect under ideal testing conditions.
    • 1642, Sir Thomas Browne, “Religio Medici [The Religion of a Doctor]”, in The Works Of the Learned Sr Thomas Brown, Kt., London: Tho. Basset et al., published 1686, page 15:
      [] and this hath even made me ſuſpect the efficacy of reliques, to examine the bones, queſtion the habits and appurtenances of Saints, and even of Chriſt himſelf.
    • 1875, Rev. Professor Wallace, “Prayer in Relation to Natural Law”, in Science and Revelation, Belfast: William Mullan, →ISBN, page 43:
      No method of verification known to science is applicable to the efficacy of prayer. [] If, then, the efficacy of prayer eludes the test of science, and if even uncertainty may rest upon the connection between an event asked in prayer, and the prayer that sought it, is there any evidence by which the efficacy of prayer may be tested and known?
    • 2005, Flay et al. Standards of Evidence: Criteria for Efficacy, Effectiveness and Dissemination DOI: 10.1007/s11121-005-5553-y
      Efficacy refers to the beneficial effects of a program or policy under optimal conditions of delivery, whereas effectiveness refers to effects of a program or policy under more real-world conditions.
  2. Degree of ability to produce a desired effect; effectiveness.
    • 1996, Moskovich, Patent application PCT/US1996/003658
      Toothbrush with improved efficacy

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