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bystander effect

A social psychological phenomenon in which the more people there are viewing a crisis or crime, the less likely they are to offer aid to the victim(s). Also known as bystander apathy. Over 30 people saw the mugging take place, but due to the bystander effect, none of them intervened.
See also: bystander, effect

bring (something) into effect

To cause (something) to apply, begin operating, or take effect; to begin implementing or enforcing (something). The new government has vowed to bring several policies into effect, aimed at helping struggling citizens get by. The new law will be brought into effect on the first of January.
See also: bring, effect

carry (something) into effect

To cause (something) to apply, begin operating, or take effect; to begin implementing or enforcing (something). The new government has vowed to carry several policies into effect, aimed at helping struggling citizens get by. The new law will be carried into effect on the first of January.
See also: carry, effect

to the effect that

Of or having the general meaning that. I didn't catch the whole meeting, but I heard something to the effect that we would begin receiving yearly bonuses again this year. Analysts' reactions to the president's speech have largely been to the effect that he focuses far too little on the economy and far too much on foreign policy.
See also: effect

words to that effect

An intentionally vague phrase used to omit the exact wording of some statement while indicating its general meaning, or the meaning one wants it to convey. A: "Did she flat-out say she was coming to dinner?" B: "Well, words to that effect."
See also: effect, word

domino effect

A phenomenon in which an initial event causes a series of other related events to occur, much like the sequence seen in toppling dominos; a chain reaction. The convenience store's decision to stop selling tobacco products caused a domino effect throughout the industry, leading other chains to quickly follow suit. When I took one book out of the bookcase, it caused a domino effect, causing all of the others to topple over.
See also: domino, effect

ripple effect

The continuing impact that one thing or event has on others. She always hoped that the kindness she showed others would have a positive ripple effect through her community. Many people believe that the flapping of a butterfly's wings can cause a ripple effect that impacts weather patterns hundreds of miles away.
See also: effect, ripple

snowball effect

A situation in which the results or consequences of an action grow at an increasingly faster rate over time. Once the video game hit the market, word of mouth caused a snowball effect that made it the most popular and top grossing game of all time. She ignored her debt for so long that now, she's experiencing a snowball effect that threatens to crush her financially.
See also: effect, snowball

side effect

1. An unpleasant symptom experienced while taking a particular medication. Often plural. Unfortunately, nausea is a common side effect with this drug. Ugh, I had so many side effects that I had to stop taking that medication.
2. By extension, an unexpected result or consequence of something. Having to drive my little sister all over the place is an annoying side effect of living at home again.
See also: effect, side

Mandela effect

A phenomenon involving a large group of people all incorrectly remembering a past event or fact. The phrase is named for the purportedly widespread misconception that Nelson Mandela died in the 1980s while in prison. (Mandela died in 2013 after having served as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 following his release from prison in 1990.) Apparently, the company's name was always spelled that way, so you guys remembering it differently must be the Mandela effect.
See also: effect

come into effect

Of a law, policy, etc., to become official, legitimate, or valid. These changes in the uniform policy come into effect at the start of next year.
See also: come, effect

come into effect

to become valid, effective, or operable. When did these rules come into effect? They came into effect while you were on vacation.
See also: come, effect

go into effect

 and take effect
[for a law or a rule] to become effective. When does this new law go into effect? The new tax laws won't go into effect until next year.
See also: effect

have a bad effect (on someone or something)

to be bad for someone or something. Aspirin has a bad effect on me. Cold weather has a bad effect on roses.
See also: bad, effect, have

have an effect on someone or something

to cause a result in someone or something. The storm had a bad effect on the baby, who cried all night. Will this have an effect on my taxes?
See also: effect, have, on

in effect

producing a particular effect; effectively. In effect, this new law will raise taxes for most people. This policy harms domestic manufacturers. In effect, all our clothing will be made in foreign countries.
See also: effect

or words to that effect

Fig. or similar words meaning the same thing. John: It says right here in the contract, "You are expected to attend without fail," or words to that effect. Mary: That means I have to be there, huh? John: You got it! Sally: She said that I wasn't doing my job well, or words to that effect. Jane: Well, you ought to find out exactly what she means. Sally: I'm afraid I know.
See also: effect, word

put something into effect

 and put something into force
to make something take effect; to begin using or enforcing a policy or procedure. When will the city council put this law into effect? We will put it into force tomorrow.
See also: effect, put

something to that effect

something like that just mentioned. She said she wouldn't be available until after three, or something to that effect. I was told to keep out of the houseor something to that effect.
See also: effect

strain for an effect

to work very hard to try to achieve some effect. The actors were straining so hard for an effect that they forgot their lines. Don't strain for effect so much. The authors of this drama knew what they were doing, and it's in the lines already.
See also: effect, strain

take effect

to start working The medicine takes effect in less than a half hour. New voter registration laws took effect last year.
See also: effect, take

a domino effect

the effect which a situation or event has on a series of other situations or events
Usage notes: Dominoes are a set of small, rectangle-shaped pieces of wood or plastic, marked with spots on one side. If dominoes are placed standing next to each other, each one will knock the next one over.
Young people can't afford even the small houses, so the people in those houses can't move on to the bigger houses. It's the domino effect.
See also: domino, effect

a ripple effect

if something has a ripple effect, it affects something else, which then affects other things Court rulings often have a ripple effect, spreading into areas of law that weren't part of the original cases.
See also: effect, ripple

a snowball effect

a situation in which something increases in size or importance at a faster and faster rate The more successful you become, the more publicity you get and that publicity generates sales. It's a sort of snowball effect.
See also: effect, snowball

in effect

1. For all practical purposes, as in This testimony in effect contradicted her earlier statement. [Late 1500s]
2. In or into operation, as in This law will be in effect in January. Related phrases include go into effect and take effect, which mean "become operative," as in This law goes into effect January 1, or It takes effect January 1. Similarly, put into effect means "make operative," as in When will the judge's ruling be put into effect? [Late 1700s] Also see in force, def. 2.
See also: effect

to that effect

With that basic or general meaning, as in He said he was very worried, or words to that effect. This term is also put as to the effect that when introducing a clause, as in She was a little vague but said something to the effect that she'd repay the loan very soon . [Mid-1600s]
See also: effect

in effect

In essence; to all purposes: testimony that in effect contradicted her earlier statement.
See also: effect

to the effect that

With the general meaning that: He said something to the effect that he was sorry.
See also: effect

take effect

1. To become operative, as under law or regulation: The curfew takes effect at midnight.
2. To produce the desired reaction: The antibiotics at last began to take effect.
See also: effect, take
References in classic literature ?
And whilst your companions allowed themselves to be repulsed, you were certain of effecting a landing on the other side of the island.
The surf was not heavy, and there was no undertow, so we made shore easily, effecting an equally easy landing.
Caleb no sooner sees this, than he clutches Tilly Slowboy by both hands and goes off at score; Miss Slowboy, firm in the belief that diving hotly in among the other couples, and effecting any number of concussions with them, is your only principle of footing it.
After some last wretched moments of hesitation, he had decided on effecting a compromise with his own better sense, by consulting Miss Ladd.
The Stag replied: "Only allow me, friend, to stay where I am, and I will undertake to find some favorable opportunity of effecting my escape.
A kind of net for effecting an involuntary change of
As the necessary result of the check thus encountered, he was now in Scotland with absolutely nothing to trust to as a means of effecting his release but the chapter of accidents, aided by his own resolution to marry Mrs.
I went in search of her, took her up behind me in the saddle, and, thanks to my swift horse, caught up the regiment which was effecting its retreat.