AskDefine | Define efficient

Dictionary Definition

efficient adj
1 being effective without wasting time or effort or expense; "an efficient production manager"; "efficient engines save gas" [ant: inefficient]
2 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" [syn: effective]

User Contributed Dictionary




1398, "making," from Latin efficientem (nominative efficiens), preposition of efficere "work out, accomplish" (see effect). Meaning "productive, skilled" is from 1787. Efficiency apartment is first recorded 1930, American English.


  1. Making good, thorough, or careful use of resources; not consuming extra. Especially, making good use of time or energy.
    An efficient process would automate all the routine work.
  2. Using a particular proportion of available energy.
    The motor is only 20% efficient at that temperature.



making good use of resources
using a particular proportion of available energy


Extensive Definition

Efficient can relate to:
  • Efficiency (and related topics; see link), the technical term often related to energy usage.
  • Efficient (horse), winner of the 2007 Melbourne Cup.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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