Effect Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

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The word effect is often a tricky one to use correctly. While there are a lot of obviously correct usages of the word, it can also be easy to use it in the wrong context or fashion. This in and of itself is exacerbated by the fact that there is the word “affect” to consider, too. 

Effect” is a tricky word to define, but when you read this article, you’ll know exactly what it means. That’s because we’re going to look at all the ways that “effect” can be used in sentences and explain each in detail. So let’s get started!

What is the Definition of Effect? 

The word “effect” (ɪˈfɛkt, effect, e-’fekt) has two meanings. One is as a noun and the other as a verb. As a noun, “effect” is pronounced with two syllables (“eh-fekt”) and means something that a cause or an agent produced: “The storm had a devastating effect on coastal areas.” 

When used as a verb, affect means to influence something in some way: “His strong work ethic affected everyone else’s performance at work.” 

If you were to look in a thesaurus for word lists of synonyms for the word effect, you would likely find words including: 

  • Reaction
  • Result
  • Culmination
  • Consequence
  • Upshot
  • Corollary
  • Payoff
  • Conclusion
  • Termination
  • Success

What Is the Etymology of the Word Effect? 

One of the most common uses of effect is to indicate an outcome or consequence. This usage comes from the Latin effectus, a past participle of the verb efficere (to bring about, accomplish). 

The word effectus comes from ex and facio, two Latin words that mean “out” and “make.” Together, they give us a sense of what effect means: something that has been brought about. For instance, effects are feelings or emotions that result from something else, like an event or situation.

In this context (and others), effects are not just outcomes — they’re also things we can see happening in our lives because something else has happened first!

The Noun Form of Effect

If you’re sick and go to the doctor, he may prescribe an antibiotic to reduce your symptoms. He’s not prescribing antibiotics to prevent you from being sick in the future; he’s prescribing them because they’ll help fix what’s causing your current illness. In this case, the “medication” is an effect — the result of being sick right now. 

Similarly, if you put on sunscreen every day before heading out into the sun (and I hope that you do), it will affect your skin: it will protect it so that it doesn’t burn as quickly when exposed to UV rays for extended periods!

This sense is closely related to its use as a verb meaning “to bring about.” If a person says he’s going to “effect change,” that means he plans on bringing about some type of positive change within his community or society at large through his actions alone — not by working with other people toward common goals such as improving education or reducing pollution levels around town

What Are Special Effects? 

One of the most common uses of the word effect is special effects. Special effects are techniques used in film production, video game development, stage magic, and other fields to create an illusion of reality. They can be executed manually by skilled technicians or automatically via computer software. 

The term is also often used for optical illusions or other forms of entertainment.

Special effects are a film technique that fundamentally affects the audience and gives the impression of manipulating events using camera movements or props while filming. Visual effects involve photography or digital imaging as they pertain to motion pictures rather than theater. 

They may be used as a way of enhancing what is seen on screen:

  • A wide shot instead becomes more dramatic when it includes an explosion.
  • Two characters will seem more intense if one is holding a gun.
  • A dragon will appear larger if its flames fill half the screen.
  • Actors can look like superheroes with computer-generated imagery (CGI).

Example Sentences Using the Word Effect

One of the best ways to learn how to use a word in the English language is by seeing it used in real-world contexts. Here are some examples of effect being used practically: 

The new law had little effect on the Middle English culture where I lived. 

The negative effects of the drug had repercussions lasting into the following year. 

The greenhouse effect is a scientific phenomenon that will significantly affect the Earth. 

I started working on the sound effects to increase the scene’s dramatic effect. 

We waited for the desired effect of understanding Old French to kick in, but it never did. 

Don’t leave any of your personal effects behind! 

The domino effect of the explosion had countless adverse effects on society. 

He spoke to great effect in front of all of the people. 

The aftereffects of his presidency lasted for centuries.

All the laws took immediate effect today. 

Her presence had a good effect on the overall mood. 

The placebo effect really tricked everyone. 

Mr. Effet experienced a wide range of side effects from the drugs. 

It’ll only take a couple of days for it all to take effect. 

The main effect of learning about idioms in English class was wanting to quit school. 


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Effect Definition & Meaning | Dictionary.com

Effect definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

Effect – Definition, Meaning & Synonyms | Vocabulary.com