Meaning of EFFECT in English

/ ɪˈfekt; NAmE / noun , verb

■ noun


[ C , U ] effect (on sb/sth) a change that sb/sth causes in sb/sth 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.

—see also greenhouse effect , knock-on , side effect ➡ note at affect


[ C , U ] a particular look, sound or impression that sb, 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


effects [ pl. ] ( formal ) your personal possessions

SYN belongings :

The insurance policy covers all baggage and personal effects.


- bring / put sth into effect

- come into effect

- in effect

- take effect

- to the effect that ... | to this / that effect

- to good, great, dramatic, etc. effect

- to no effect

- with immediate effect | with effect from ...

■ verb

[ vn ] ( formal ) to make sth happen :

to effect a cure / change / recovery

➡ note at affect




result ♦ consequence ♦ outcome ♦ repercussion

These are all words for a thing that is caused because of sth else.


a change in sb/sth that is caused by sb/sth else:

Her criticisms had the effect of discouraging him completely.


a thing that is caused or produced by sth else:

She died as a result of her injuries.

This book is the result of 25 years of research.


( rather formal ) a result of sth that has happened, especially a bad result:

This decision could have serious consequences for the industry.


Consequences is used most frequently to talk about possible negative results of an action. It is commonly used with such words as adverse , dire , disastrous , fatal , harmful , negative , serious , tragic and unfortunate . Even when there is no adjective, consequences often suggests negative results.


the result of an action or process:

We are waiting to hear the final outcome of the negotiations.

result or outcome?

Result is often used to talk about things that are caused directly by sth else:

Aggression is often the result of fear.

Outcome is more often used to talk about what happens at the end of a process when the exact relation of cause and effect is less clear: Aggresssion is often the outcome of fear. Result is often used after an event to talk about what happened. Outcome is often used before an action or process to talk about what is likely to happen.


( rather formal ) an indirect and usually bad result of an action or event that may happen some time afterwards.


to have consequences / repercussions for sb/sth

with the effect / result / consequence / outcome that...

a(n) / the possible / likely / inevitable effect / result / consequences / outcome / repercussions

(a / an) dramatic / far-reaching / serious / negative effect / results / consequences / outcome / repercussions

(a) lasting effect / result / consequences / repercussions

the final result / outcome

the end result

to have an effect / a result / consequences / an outcome / repercussions

to achieve / get / obtain a(n) effect / result / outcome



late Middle English : from Old French , or from Latin effectus , from efficere accomplish, from ex- out, thoroughly + facere do, make. Sense 3, personal belongings , arose from the obsolete sense something acquired on completion of an action .

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.