Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin effectus, from efficere to bring about, from ex- + facere to make, do — more at do
Date: 14th century
a. purport, intent
b. basic meaning ; essence
2. something that inevitably follows an antecedent (as a cause or agent)
3. an outward sign ; appearance
4. accomplishment, fulfillment
5. power to bring about a result ; influence <the content itself of television…is therefore less important than its effect — Current Biography> 6. plural movable property ; goods <personal effects> 7. a. a distinctive impression <the color gives the effect of being warm> b. the creation of a desired impression <her tears were purely for effect> c. (1) something designed to produce a distinctive or desired impression — usually used in plural (2) plural special effects 8. the quality or state of being operative ; operation <the law goes into effect next week> II. transitive verb Date: 1533 1. to cause to come into being 2. a. to bring about often by surmounting obstacles ; accomplish <effect a settlement of a dispute> b. to put into operation <the duty of the legislature to effect the will of the citizens> Synonyms: see perform Usage: Effect and affect are often confused because of their similar spelling and pronunciation. The verb 2affect usually has to do with pretense <she affected a cheery disposition despite feeling down>. The more common 3affect denotes having an effect or influence <the weather affected everyone's mood>. The verb effect goes beyond mere influence; it refers to actual achievement of a final result <the new administration hopes to effect a peace settlement>. The uncommon noun affect, which has a meaning relating to psychology, is also sometimes mistakenly used for the very common effect. In ordinary use, the noun you will want is effect <waiting for the new law to take effect> <the weather had an effect on everyone's mood>.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.