Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


1. Acting or producing effectively with a minimum of waste, expense, or unnecessary effort: an efficient builder; an efficient factory.
2. Acting directly to produce an effect: the efficient cause of the revolution.
3. Causing less waste or requiring less effort than comparable devices or methods. Used in combination: energy-efficient wind turbines; cost-efficient health care.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin efficiēns, efficient-, present participle of efficere, to effect; see effect.]

ef·fi′cient·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. functioning or producing effectively and with the least waste of effort; competent
2. (Philosophy) philosophy producing a direct effect; causative
[C14: from Latin efficiēns effecting]
efˈficiently adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ɪˈfɪʃ ənt)

1. performing or functioning effectively with the least waste of time and effort; competent; capable: an efficient secretary.
2. satisfactory and economical to use: a more efficient air conditioner.
3. producing an effect, as a cause; causative.
4. using a given product or resource with maximum efficiency (used in combination): a fuel-efficient engine.
[1350–1400; Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin efficient-, s. of efficiēns]
ef•fi′cient•ly, adv.
syn: See effective.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'effective'

If someone or something is effective, they do something well and produce the results that were intended.

We need effective street lighting.
Simple antibiotics are effective against this virus.
She was very effective in getting people to communicate.
2. 'efficient'

If someone or something is efficient, they do a job well and successfully, without wasting time or energy.

You need a highly efficient production manager if you want to reduce costs.
Engines and cars can be made more efficient.

Be Careful!
Effective and efficient are often confused, but they have slightly different meanings. If you are effective, you do a job properly; if you are efficient, you do it quickly and easily.

Doing research at the library can be effective, but using the internet is often more efficient.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.efficient - being effective without wasting time or effort or expense; "an efficient production manager"; "efficient engines save gas"
competent - properly or sufficiently qualified or capable or efficient; "a competent typist"
effective, effectual, efficacious - 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; "effective teaching methods"; "effective steps toward peace"; "made an effective entrance"; "his complaint proved to be effectual in bringing action"; "an efficacious law"
inefficient - not producing desired results; wasteful; "an inefficient campaign against drugs"; "outdated and inefficient design and methods"
2.efficient - 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"; "an efficient secretary"; "the efficient cause of the revolution"
competent - properly or sufficiently qualified or capable or efficient; "a competent typist"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. Producing or able to produce a desired effect:
2. Acting effectively with minimal waste:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
فَعَّالكُفء، قَدير، ماهِرناجِع، فَعّال
áhrifaríkur, skilvirkurhæfur, skilvirkur
hiệu quả


[ɪˈfɪʃənt] ADJ
1. [person, manager] → eficaz, eficiente; [method, remedy, product, system] → eficaz; [service, company, organization, army] → eficiente
to be efficient at doing sthser eficiente a la hora de hacer algo
2. (esp Mech, Phys) [machine] → de buen rendimiento
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ɪˈfɪʃənt] adj [person] → efficace; [method, means] → efficace; [machine, car] → d'un bon rendement
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


adj personfähig, tüchtig; system, machine, company, organizationleistungsfähig; car, engine (= powerful)leistungsfähig; (= economical)sparsam, verbrauchsarm; servicegut, effizient (geh); methodwirksam; way, userationell; work is organized in the most logical and efficient waydie Arbeit wird so logisch und rationell wie möglich organisiert; to be efficient in or at (doing) somethingetw gut können; she’s efficient at dealing with difficult customerssie kann gut mit schwierigen Kunden umgehen; the body is remarkably efficient at dealing with such thingsder Körper wird mit diesen Dingen bemerkenswert gut fertig; they are less efficient at turning sunlight into electricitybei der Umwandlung von Sonnenlicht in elektrischen Strom sind sie weniger effektiv
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ɪˈfɪʃnt] adj (person) → efficiente; (remedy, product, system) → efficace; (machine, car) → che ha un buon rendimento
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(iˈfiʃənt) adjective
1. (of a person) capable; skilful. a very efficient secretary.
2. (of an action, tool etc) producing (quick and) satisfactory results. The new lawn mower is much more efficient than the old one.
efˈficiently adverb
efˈficiency noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


فَعَّال výkonný effektiv leistungsfähig αποδοτικός eficiente tehokas efficace djelotvoran efficiente 効率的な 효율적인 efficiënt effektiv skuteczny eficiente эффективный effektiv ซึ่งมีประสิทธิภาพ etkin hiệu quả 效率高的
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


a. eficaz; eficiente;
adv. eficientemente.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in classic literature ?
Her education made it likely that she would be a typist more efficient than the average, and her story made her claims appealing.
Let us therefore proceed to examine whether the people are not right in their opinion that a cordial Union, under an efficient national government, affords them the best security that can be devised against HOSTILITIES from abroad.
Once the most favourable order of conduct is found, proved efficient and established, it becomes the ruling morality of the species that adopts it and bears them along to victory.
An anchor of yesterday (because nowadays there are contrivances like mushrooms and things like claws, of no particular expression or shape - just hooks) - an anchor of yesterday is in its way a most efficient instrument.
Hunt remained for some time, to complete his assortment of Indian goods, and to increase his number of voyageurs, as well as to engage some of a more efficient character than those enlisted at Montreal.
but, besides the application to him of the generic remark above, this carpenter of the Pequod was singularly efficient in those thousand nameless mechanical emergencies continually recurring in a large ship, upon a three or four years' voyage, in uncivilized and far-distant seas.
This is a new idea that has already arrived in the more efficient departments of the Federal service.
If he growled and showed his fighting fangs when they trespassed upon his inalienable rights to the fruits of his kills they felt no anger toward him--only greater respect for the efficient and the fit--for him who could not only kill but protect the flesh of his kill.
He seemed to be efficient. At the promised time he had the canoes and paddlers on hand and the goods safely stowed away while one big craft was fitted up as comfortably as possible for the men of the party.
For the absurdity must continually stare us in the face of confiding to a government the direction of the most essential national interests, without daring to trust it to the authorities which are indispensible to their proper and efficient management.
Adam Colburn gradually acquired reputation, not only in the management of the temporal affairs of the Society, but as a clear and efficient preacher of their doctrines.
But father has a way of arriving at his ends which is more efficient than violence.

Full browser ?