Etymology
Advertisement
effect (n.)
Origin and meaning of effect
mid-14c., "execution or completion (of an act)," from Old French efet (13c., Modern French effet) "result, execution, completion, ending," from Latin effectus "accomplishment, performance," from past participle stem of efficere "work out, accomplish," from assimilated form of ex "out" (see ex-) + combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). From French, borrowed into Dutch, German, Scandinavian.

From late 14c. as "power or capacity to produce an intended result; efficacy, effectiveness," and in astrology, "operation or action (of a heavenly body) on human affairs; influence." Also "that which follows from something else; a consequence, a result." From early 15c. as "intended result, purpose, object, intent." Also formerly with a sense of "reality, fact," hence in effect (late 14c.), originally "in fact, actually, really." Meaning "impression produced on the beholder" is from 1736. Sense in stage effect, sound effect, etc. first recorded 1881.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
effect (v.)
Origin and meaning of effect
"to produce as a result; to bring to a desired end," 1580s, from Latin effectus, past participle of efficere "work out, accomplish" (see effect (n.)). Related: Effecting; effection; effectible.
Related entries & more 
side effect (n.)
also side-effect, 1884, from side (adj.) + effect (n.). Medical use, with reference to drugs, is recorded from 1939.
Related entries & more 
effects (n.)
"goods, property," 1704, plural of effect (n.); after a use of French effets.
Related entries & more 
effected (adj.)
"brought about," past-participle adjective from effect (v.). Since early 15c. sometimes used erroneously for affected.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
ineffectible (adj.)
"that cannot be carried out, impracticable," 1803, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + effectible (see effect (v.)).
Related entries & more 
effective (adj.)
late 14c., "serving to effect the intended purpose," from Old French effectif, from Latin effectivus "productive, effective," from effect-, stem of efficere "work out, accomplish" (see effect (n.)). Of military forces, "fit for action or duty," from 1680s.
Related entries & more 
effectuate (v.)
"bring to pass, accomplish, achieve," 1570s, from French effectuer, from Latin effectus "an effecting, accomplishment, performance" (see effect (n.)). According to OED, formed "on the model of" actuate. Related: Effectuated; effectuating.
Related entries & more 
effectual (adj.)
"producing an effect; having power to produce an effect," late 14c., Old French effectuel, from Late Latin effectualis, from Latin effectus "accomplishment, performance" (see effect (n.)). Used properly of actions (not agents) and with a sense "having the effect aimed at" (effective, by contrast, is used of the agent or the thing done and with a sense "having great effect"). Related: Effectually; effectualness.
Related entries & more 
feckless (adj.)
1590s, from feck, "effect, value, vigor" (late 15c.), Scottish shortened form of effect (n.), + -less. Popularized by Carlyle, who left its opposite, feckful, in dialectal obscurity. Related: Fecklessly; fecklessness.
Related entries & more