from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Insufficient to produce a desired effect: an ineffectual effort to block the legislation.
  • adj. Useless; worthless: an ineffectual treatment for cancer.
  • adj. Lacking forcefulness or effectiveness; weak: an ineffectual ruler.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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


in- "not" + effectual "having effect" (Wiktionary)


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


  • 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.

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  • 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.

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


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


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

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  • 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.

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

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

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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