The degree to which a method or medicine brings about a specific result is its efficacy. You might not like to eat it, but you can’t question the efficacy of broccoli as a health benefit.

Efficacy is a more formal way to say effectiveness, both of which stem from the Latin verb efficere “to work out, accomplish.” The effectiveness, or efficacy, of something is how well it works or brings the results you hoped for. A scientist does research to determine the efficacy of a vaccine or medicine under development. If it is efficacious, it will cure or prevent a disease.

Definitions of efficacy
  1. noun

    capacity or power to produce a desired effect

    “concern about the safety and
    efficacy of the vaccine”
    see moresee less


    inefficaciousness, inefficacy

    a lack of efficacy
    type of:

    effectiveness, effectivity, effectuality, effectualness

    power to be effective; the quality of being able to bring about an effect

Word Family