View definitions for inefficient


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Example Sentences

Execs also believe that speed as well as fewer in-person meetings will remain as flying across the country when you know you can get something done over Zoom may be seen as inefficient and unnecessarily expensive now.

From Digiday

The IEA notes that the best technology available is more than twice as efficient as the average of what’s actually in use around the world, and three times better than the most inefficient products on the market.

Up until this capture, we’d placed our noose carpets along the riverbank in areas we hoped the owls would land, which was inefficient.

It is economically inefficient to preserve jobs in companies that are unlikely to survive the structural changes of the fourth industrial revolution.

From Fortune

In fact, in some ways, Xi Jinping himself was picked because of the party’s fear that, in the period after SARS, it was losing control of parts of society because it was seen as corrupt, as inefficient, as incompetent.

In response to hearing her story, Uber apologized for the "inefficient route" and partially refunded her fare.

Woman claims Uber driver kidnapped her, Uber claims "inefficient route."

This welfare spending discourages work, increases taxes, and operates as a hidden and inefficient subsidy to low-wage businesses.

Bureaucracies are inefficient and dishonest—maybe not intentionally . . . but because there are too many moving parts.

The disappearance of one flight and shooting down of another has pushed the inefficient carrier to the brink of collapse.

The use of grout is, therefore, a sign of inefficient workmanship, and should not be countenanced in good work.

They continued to be of some service to the community in the inefficient condition of the public police.

The last governor was kind, but inefficient, and some months ago was sent to the West Indies, where he is officially buried.

Was our devotion paid to the wretched, inefficient, clumsy contrivance, which this new doctrine would make it?

Napoleon's Council of State, touched with tenderness towards erring women, was quite inefficient.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is another word for inefficient?

Inefficient is a way of saying that something (or someone) works in a way that wastes effort or energy—in other words, that it’s not efficient. This isn’t always easy to boil down to one word.

A process that’s considered inefficient could be described as wasteful, meaning that it could get the same (or an even better) result with less effort or resources.

Processes that are efficient are sometimes described as economical—meaning they maximize results with minimum resources or effort. In this way, something that’s inefficient could be described as uneconomical.

You could indicate that a process is inefficient by saying that it involves too many steps. You could imply that a machine is inefficient by saying that it doesn’t run as smoothly as it should. Old appliances are called inefficient when they use way more energy to perform the same functions as more efficient ones.

You could imply that a person is inefficient in the way they’re completing a task or doing an activity by saying that they’re doing unnecessary work or exerting more effort than they need to.

Sometimes, instead of saying that something is inefficient, you could say that it suffers from inefficiency.

What is an example of something that’s inefficient?

All kinds of things can be described as inefficient, including:

  • Machines, such as a gas-guzzling car or an old washing machine that uses up a lot of energy. Rube Goldberg machines are intentionally inefficient and overly complicated.
  • People, such as a worker who completes tasks in roundabout ways or a runner who exerts unnecessary energy during each stride.
  • Processes, such as a project that uses more of the budget than it needs to or involves more employees than is necessary.
  • Institutions and organizations. People often accuse the government of being inefficient. An inefficient business is one that uses more resources than are necessary to operate.

How do you use inefficient in a sentence?

Inefficient is commonly used. It can describe people, machines, systems, and institutions, among other things.

Here are some examples of inefficient in a sentence: 

  • Without my monitor and mouse, I can still get work done, but I’m really inefficient—it takes me an hour to do what usually takes 10 minutes!
  • Some people say that the government is too inefficient and should be run like a business. 
  • My car is so inefficient—it only gets 8 miles to the gallon.

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On this page you'll find 61 synonyms, antonyms, and words related to inefficient, such as: disorganized, faulty, feeble, incompetent, ineffective, and ineffectual.

From Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.