Link to entry:Dictionary: effete
I feel that the selection of translations currently offered by LEO for "effete" doesn't quite cover the commonly understood meaning of the word (effeminate, precious, etc - see below), at least in reference to a person. Moreover, it is misleading.
Just imagine translating "ich fühle mich heute total ausgelaugt" as "I feel totally effete today."
Unfortunately I don't have time at the moment to suggest a New Entry in LEO. I'd be interested first to see if the native speakers agree that the entry needs to be changed somehow to reflect the modern meaning of "effete". Any additional pairings can be added accordingly after that. At the moment, "verweichlicht" is probably the only German translation offered by LEO that comes close, but even that still doesn't quite cover it. Does anyone have any ideas?
Having said all this, I probably wouldn't rush to label the other meanings of effete [obs.], given that other dictionaries do not seem to do so.
Kenneth G. Wilson, The Columbia Guide to Standard American English, 1993
long meant “exhausted, unfruitful, or worn out,” but those meanings have been largely replaced in this century. Effete now usually means “decadent, overrefined and precious, snobbish, or even sterile.” It still signifies weakness and lack of utility, but now it is the weakness of triviality, superficiality; applied to men it can be synonymous with effeminate. It is always pejorative.
3. fig. Of persons in an intellectual sense, of systems, etc.: That has exhausted its vigour and energy; incapable of efficient action. Also, of persons: weak, ineffectual; degenerate. More recently, effeminate.
Main Entry: ef·fete
Pronunciation: e-'fEt, i-
Etymology: Latin effetus, from ex- + fetus fruitful -- more at FEMININE
1 : no longer fertile
2 a : having lost character, vitality, or strength <the effete monarchies ... of feudal Europe -- G. M. Trevelyan> b : marked by weakness or decadence <the effete East> c : soft or delicate from or as if from a pampered existence <peddled ... trendy tweeds to effete Easterners -- William Helmer> <effete tenderfeet>; also : characteristic of an effete person <a wool scarf ... a bit effete on an outdoorsman -- Nelson Bryant>
3 : EFFEMINATE 1 <a good-humored, effete boy brought up by maiden aunts -- Herman Wouk>
- ef·fete·ly adverb
- ef·fete·ness noun