from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Not producing the desired effect: synonym: futile.
  • adjective Lacking forcefulness or effectiveness; inadequate or incompetent.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Not effectual; not producing or not able to produce the desired effect; of no efficacy; inefficient: as, an ineffectual remedy.
  • Synonyms Fruitless, Unavailing, etc. See useless.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Not producing the proper effect; without effect; inefficient; weak; useless; futile; unavailing

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective unable or insufficient to produce effect; futile
  • adjective worthless
  • adjective weak; lacking forcefulness

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective lacking in power or forcefulness
  • adjective producing no result or effect
  • adjective not producing an intended effect


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

in- "not" + effectual "having effect"


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  • Walter Bassett broke out in ineffectual protest, but was swiftly silenced by the threat of a lunacy commission.

    Goliah 2010

  • Then when the Mexicans fired off a few rockets at us in ineffectual retaliation, with negligible damage to us, we would then have responded with a massive bombing campaign against Mexican civilian infrastructure, killing a hundred or more Mexicans to every one American killed.

    On Gaza: Huffington Post Takes Cues From Fox News « Blog 2008

  • Of course the Résistance was militarily ineffectual from a conventional standpoint: It was a guerrilla movement, with a large civil component that emphasised civil desobedience and sabotage.

    Think Progress » On Today Show, O’Reilly Compares Murtha With Hitler Sympathizers 2005

  • Walter Bassett broke out in ineffectual protest, but was swiftly squelched by the threat of a lunacy commission.

    Goliah 1910

  • Bassett broke out in ineffectual protest, but was swiftly squelched by the threat of a lunacy commission.

    Goliah 1910

  • However, the being a little slow, a little ineffectual, is perhaps the least offensive fault she could have; and/some/fault, being human, she

    New Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle 1893

  • The reason Batman does so as a vigilante is because the official channels were and are corrupt and ineffectual, which is another problem he's trying to fix so as to render himself unnecessary.

    hth_the_first: Batman's Sing-Along Blog hth_the_first 2008

  • Fukuyama's solution...can better be described as ineffectual internationalism.

    Daimnation!: "Ineffectual internationalism": The failings of Francis Fukuyama 2006

  • The C.C.R.B. is characterized as ineffectual even by its supporters — only 1 percent of the recent complaints have reportedly led to disciplinary action.

    Incident in the 70th Precinct Brenner, Marie 1997

  • Yet, even while he was weighing all the chances, he smiled to himself as he recalled the ineffectual little whistle that had gone out on the whistling wind.

    On the Firing Line Hamilton Brock Fuller 1905


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