American English

Definition of effect noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    jump to other results
  1. 1[countable, uncountable] effect (on somebody/something) a change that someone or something causes in someone or something else; a result the effect of heat on metal dramatic/long-term effects to learn to distinguish between cause and effect the beneficial effects of exercise Modern farming methods can have an adverse effect on the environment. Her criticisms had the effect of discouraging him completely. Despite her ordeal, she seems to have suffered no ill effects. I can certainly feel the effects of too many late nights. “I'm feeling really depressed.” “The winter here has that effect sometimes.” I tried to persuade him, but with little or no effect. Language Bankconsequentlydescribing the effect of something One consequence of changes in diet over recent years has been a dramatic increase in cases of childhood obesity. Many parents today do not have time to cook healthy meals for their children. Consequently/As a consequence, many children grow up eating too much junk food. Many children spend their free time watching TV instead of playing outside. As a result, more and more of them are becoming overweight. Last year, junk food was banned in schools. The effect of this has been to create a black market on the playground, with students bringing candy and snacks from home to sell to other students. see also greenhouse effect, side effect Which Word?affect / effectaffectverb = “to have an influence on someone or something”:Does television affect children’s behavior?It is not a noun.effectnoun = “result, influence”:Does television have an effect on children’s behavior?effectverb is formal and means “to achieve or produce”:The negotiators hope to effect a reconciliation. Governments have the tools to use to effect change.
  2. 2[countable, uncountable] a particular look, sound, or impression that someone, such as an artist or a writer, wants to create The overall effect of the painting is overwhelming. The stage lighting gives the effect of a moonlit scene. Add a scarf for a casual effect. He only behaves like that for effect (= in order to impress people). see also special effects, sound effect
  3. 3effects [plural] (formal) your personal possessions synonym belongings The insurance policy covers all baggage and personal effects.
  4. Idioms
    come into effect
    jump to other results
    to come into use; to begin to apply New controls come into effect next month.
    1. 1used when you are stating what the facts of a situation are In effect, the two systems are identical. His wife had, in effect, run the government for the past six months. By asking for these particular qualifications, you are, in effect, excluding most women from applying.
    2. 2(of a law or rule) in use These laws are in effect in twenty states.
    put/bring something into effect
    jump to other results
    to cause something to come into use The recommendations will soon be put into effect.
      take effect
      jump to other results
    1. 1to start to produce the results that are intended The aspirin will soon take effect.
    2. 2to come into use; to begin to apply The new law takes effect tomorrow.
    to the effect that…, to this/that effect
    jump to other results
    used to show that you are giving the general meaning of what someone has said or written rather than the exact words He left a note to the effect that he would not be coming back. She told me to get out—or words to that effect.
    to good, great, dramatic, etc. effect
    jump to other results
    producing a good, successful, dramatic, etc. result or impression
    to no effect
    jump to other results
    not producing the result you intend or hope for We warned them, but to no effect.
    with immediate effect (formal)
    jump to other results
    starting now; starting from… The government has cut interest rates with immediate effect.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: effect