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Effete is an adjective describing something as feminine or effeminate. An alternative definition is for something to lack effectiveness, to not have strength or bravery or to be unable to act.

Its derivatives include effetely and effeteness.

In the seventeenth century, effete meant being past the childbearing years, or to not be fertile. One can see the transition of this to other topics, so that governments and armies were not fertile, or ineffective.


Dinesh Gundu Rao, who had invited the wrath of the party by describing the central leaders as “effete”, quietly withdrew his comment on Tuesday. [New Indian Express]

Although sometimes parodied with the effete dandyism of Beau Brummel, the Regency, at the start of the 19th century, was a time of rampant wealth-creation and rapid economic growth. [Royal Society of Chemistry]

Jesse Gervais is an effete gangster and Julien Arnold a confused one. [Edmonton Sun]

The portrait of what appears to be an effete old man in a wig has caused future generations of Americans to underestimate him. [National Interest]

Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX) [Trend Analysis] dropped in last session as investor looks caused that how effetely firm will recently declared that optimistic top-line data from a dose-ranging, randomized, observer-blinded, placebo-controlled phase I/II study on its H7N9 avian influenza virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate, H7N9 VLP. [E Markets Daily]

Coming from the effeteness of a polity cast rather in fossilized mould, the wily young man has assiduously and tenaciously worked his way around his mission since becoming chairman of the Bekwarra Local Government Council of Cross River State in 2007 and re-elected in 2010. [All Africa]