Effete – barren; no longer capable of producing, as an animal, a soil, etc; hence, exhausted, barren, sterile, inefficient though age, use, or decay

“Hawthorne’s work is shot through with shamefaced apologies, partly but only partly tongue-in-cheek, for the effeteness of romancing.

Lawrence Buell, in the introduction to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Selected Poems