There is a word often used, if I am not mistaken, by sociologists and liberals to describe the pervasive, far-reaching effects of something on a person's life. For example, poverty affects one's life expectancy, ability to access healthcare, social status, etc... I want a word that describes poverty's ability to influence multiple dimensions of a persons' life. Note that this is not specific to poverty, it could be any sociological characteristic that has far-reaching, pervasive consequences. I believe the term is somewhat specific (it's not far-reaching, nor pervasive, nor multidimensional, but related to them in that sense, not exactly a synonym). I can't recall the word, but I'm sure it exists. Any guesses? Thesaurus left me unsatisfied when I put the aforementioned words into it.

3 Answers 3


Are you looking for profound?

Defined by Cambridge dictionary as:

felt or experienced very strongly or in an extreme way

In your case, poverty can have a profound effect on one's life expectancy, ability to access healthcare, social status, etc...


Maybe you’re looking for fallout — the adverse side effects or results of a situation.

Here’s a usage example:

Indigenous impoverished women not only suffer the fallout of poverty but face racism and gender-based violence.
Source: The Borgen Project — Homelessness in Guatemala: An Update


You might be looking for the word legacy, which has been used and abused ad nauseam in recent years. You'll see from its entry at m-w.com that its primary meaning is purportedly a gift of money or personal property, but it also means:

"something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past // the legacy of the ancient philosophers // The war left a legacy of pain and suffering."

The word is routinely used in the media to mean the effect of something from the past on the present. You'll also often hear athletes interviewed and asked about what they want their own "legacy" to be, and in this context, the question is usually interpreted, rightly or wrongly, to mean: "How do you want to be remembered?"

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