Etymology
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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.

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Definitions of effective

effective (adj.)
exerting force or influence;
the law is effective immediately
Synonyms: good / in effect / in force
effective (adj.)
producing or capable of producing an intended result or having a striking effect; "an air-cooled motor was more effective than a witch's broomstick for rapid long-distance transportation"-LewisMumford;
made an effective entrance
effective steps toward peace
effective teaching methods
Synonyms: effectual / efficacious
effective (adj.)
able to accomplish a purpose; functioning effectively; "people who will do nothing unless they get something out of it for themselves are often highly effective persons..."-G.B.Shaw;
effective personnel
Synonyms: efficient
effective (adj.)
works well as a means or remedy;
an effective reprimand
a lotion that is effective in cases of prickly heat
effective (adj.)
existing in fact; not theoretical; real;
confused increased equipment and expenditure with the quantity of effective work done
a decline in the effective demand
effective (adj.)
ready for service;
the fort was held by about 100 effective soldiers
From wordnet.princeton.edu