coun·​ter·​pro·​duc·​tive | \ˌkau̇n-tər-prə-ˈdək-tiv \

Definition of counterproductive 

: tending to hinder the attainment of a desired goal violence as a means to achieve an end is counterproductive— W. E. Brock born 1930

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Examples of counterproductive in a Sentence

His uncontrollable anger is very counterproductive to his attempt at saving his marriage. harsh disciplinary measures that prove to be counterproductive

Recent Examples on the Web

However, the wrong cotton pad can irritate sensitive skin and become a counterproductive part of your skin-care routine. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Korean Cotton Pads Are the Secret to a Proper K-Beauty Skin Routine," 4 Oct. 2018 And excessive focus on the notion of Trump as a historical aberration is counterproductive to those ends. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Donald Trump, the resistance, and the limits of normcore politics," 3 July 2018 All this leaves plenty of room for spin, misinterpretation and counterproductive responses. The Economist, "Forcing employers to reveal their gender pay gaps is making them think," 5 Apr. 2018 Official narratives shape and limit thinking, which then can then lead to extremely costly or counterproductive foreign-policy initiatives., "America's military is nostalgic for great-power wars," 13 Mar. 2018 Viewing it as a crisis or bemoaning the death of The Real isn’t just an unhealthy, counterproductive fetish. Nathaniel Friedman, GQ, "It’s Kyrie Irving’s World Now," 17 Jan. 2018 Most players no longer value playing in all 162 games, and managers think it’s counterproductive. Paul Sullivan,, "Clubhouse policeman Bud Norris creating latest controversy in St. Louis," 14 July 2018 Diplomats say Trump's singular focus on the 2 percent benchmark might be counterproductive. Gregory Korte, USA TODAY, "As he arrives at NATO summit, President Trump hounds allies over 'delinquent' defense spending," 10 July 2018 Two earlier tweets were truly counterproductive, though. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Oil’s Twitter War May End Badly for Trump," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'counterproductive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of counterproductive

1959, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for counterproductive

The first known use of counterproductive was in 1959

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English Language Learners Definition of counterproductive

: not helpful : making the thing you want to happen less likely to happen

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Comments on counterproductive

What made you want to look up counterproductive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

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