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Definition physically weak — especially due to self-indulgence and moral decay


said disapprovingly:  more typical of a woman than a man
  • He stresses soft force, but there's nothing effete about him.
  • a group of effete self-professed intellectuals
  • David Hyde Pierce, best known for his role in the sitcom, Frasier where he plays the snooty and effete Niles Crane.
  • He's a Neanderthal who thinks politeness is an effete weakness.
  • Even Governor La Fayette, traitorous effete Feuillant dog that he was, seemed enthusiastic about the battle ahead.
    Orson Scott Card  --  Red Prophet
  • There was nothing of the "effete East" about Alfred Hammond; he might have been a Westerner all his days.
    Zane Grey  --  The Light of Western Stars
  • He looked well-fed, indolent, rich, effete, and supremely self-satisfied.
    Zane Grey  --  The Call of the Canyon
  • Here was I thinking you a new-sprung child of nature; there were you, the belated seedling of an effete aristocracy!
    Thomas Hardy  --  Tess of the d'Urbervilles
  • It is not an effete organization.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • My auxiliaries are the dews and rains which water this dry soil, and what fertility is in the soil itself, which for the most part is lean and effete.
    Henry David Thoreau  --  Walden
  • BOTARD: [to DUDARD] All you get at the universities are effete intellectuals with no practical knowledge of life.
    Eugene Ionesco  --  Rhinoceros
  • There was something extremely unsettling about eyes of such power in a body so frail and effete.
    Roger Zelazny  --  Lord of Light
  • Compared to the imposing swagger of Prusias, Astaroth was almost delicate, effete.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Fiend And The Forge
  • Manchek disliked Jaggers, who was effete and precious.
    Michael Crichton  --  The Andromeda Strain
  • You are the great Western Barbarian, stepping forth in his innocence and might, gazing a while at this poor effete Old World and then swooping down on it.
    Henry James  --  The American
  • Tension, apprehension, and dissension have begun... Maria was introducing another effete, all gush, all cropped copper hair, all fuchsia blouse and Prussian blue culottes.
    Alfred Bester  --  The Demolished Man
  • A virile new Britain cannot continue indefinitely to be traduced in the eyes, or rather ears, of the world by the effete languors of Langham Place, brazenly masquerading as "standard English."
    George Orwell  --  Politics and the English Language
  • The face in the moonlight looked singularly earnest, and recalled to Marguerite's aching heart those happy days of courtship, before he had become the lazy nincompoop, the effete fop, whose life seemed spent in card and supper rooms.
    Baroness Orczy  --  The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • That it is a monument to the privilege of the nobility, the effeteness of the intelligentsia, and the predatory pricing of speculators.
    Amor Towles  --  A Gentleman in Moscow
  • (Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
  • I do not speak of the mincing, effete courtesy of these desperate times, but the virile, robust courtesy born in that most violent of times, the Middle Ages.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline

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