Middle English Dictionary Entry

effect n.
Quotations: Show all Hide all

Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) Execution or completion (of an act); attainment or consummation (of a desire, an aim); fulfillment or realization (of a wish, a prayer, a dream); (b) comen to ~, achieve or attain to; produce (fruit); taken ~, to be achieved or realized; of a dispute: to be settled or concluded; (c) bringen to ~, carry out or realize (a purpose), consummate (an ideal); put into operation, make (something) operate; fulfillen the ~, achieve an end, to consummate.
Law taken effect, become operative, come into force; standen in ~, be in force; of non ~, not in force, not valid.
In phrases: in effect, by doing, in deed; in fact, actually, really; frend of ~, a friend in deed, a true friend.
The power or capacity to produce an intended result; efficacy, effectiveness; withouten ~, without efficacy or effect, ineffectual; to ~, to the point, effectively; taken ~, comen to ~, to produce an intended result, to have an effect.
(a) That which follows from something else; a consequence, sequel, result; outcome, issue, upshot; (b) of a chain of events: sequel or upshot; gret effect, culminating event or action.
Phil. (a) The embodiment or manifestation of 'being' or 'substance' in individual acts or things; the action of embodying 'forms' in 'real things'; also, an act, individual, or thing so manifested, or its 'nature'; (b) the observable manifestation or effect of a 'quality'; (c) a property or attribute (of something) regarded as the observable manifestation of its essential nature.
Med. A symptom of disease, regarded both as an external manifestation of the presence of disease and as a result of the causes of disease.
Astrol. The operation or action (of a heavenly body) on human affairs; influence.
Essential content, gist, essence, purport (of an utterance, a letter, a line of action); meaning, significance; sum and substance (of income); essential manner of working (of a contrivance).
(a) Intended result, purpose, object, intent; (b) to the effect that, in order that, so that.
Law Intent (of a legal document, a law, a custom, etc.); also, a stipulation or provision contained in such a document; after the fourme and effect, according to the letter and the spirit (of a law).
Occasional spelling for affect and infect, q.v.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • ?1435 Lond.Chron.Jul.(Jul B.2)20 : The same kyng..seyd that he wolde perfourme with effecte that he hadde byfore byhiht on that partye.
  • Note: New phrase to be added to sense 2.
    Note: Gloss: with ~, efficaciously, effectively.
  • ?a1425(?a1350) Castleford Chron.(Göt Hist 740)27286 : To se of cadwaladre schewing To qwat effek þai might it bring.
  • Note: New form: Also..effek.
    Note: Belongs to sense 1a.(c).
    Note: This quot. has been taken back to books.
  • a1450(?c1421) Lydg.ST (Arun 119)170 : Nodde not with thyn heuy bekke! Telle vs some thyng that draweþ to effecte [vr. effekke] Only of Ioye!
  • Note: New form: Also..effekke.
    Note: Quot. belongs to sense 3.(a).
    Note: This quot. has been taken back to books.
Note: The list of variant spellings in the form section may be incomplete and / or may need revision to accord with standards of later volumes of the MED. Revised form section: Also efect, ef(f)ecte, effet(t)e, effek(ke.--notes per MLL

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1483(?a1450) OT in Caxton Gold.Leg.(Caxton)40ab : Alle that tyme men ete no flesshe, for therbes and fruytes were thenne of grete strengthe and effecte; they were pure and norisshyng.
  • Note: Additional quote, sense 2.