coun·​ter·​pro·​duc·​tive | \ ˌkau̇n-tər-prə-ˈdək-tiv How to pronounce counterproductive (audio) \

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 House of Hope executive director Laura Jaworski said busting up encampments is counterproductive, sapping the energy of service providers without doing anything to address the root causes., 10 June 2021 For example, shortening the working week, but increasing global travel to capitalise on long weekends would be counterproductive. Amy Nguyen, Forbes, 10 June 2021 Doctors and health experts have said that daily showers are unnecessary, and even counterproductive. Maria Cramer, New York Times, 6 May 2021 In fact, investing too much time and energy in safeguarding future generations might actually be counterproductive, if those measures end up stifling economic growth. Geek's Guide To The Galaxy, WIRED, 28 May 2021 In fact, without internationalization, many can be counterproductive. Radu Magdin, Forbes, 21 May 2021 Saying that Americans should not get vaccinated in order to help the rest of the world is counterproductive. Megan Ranney And Céline Gounder, CNN, 21 May 2021 Growing beyond your means can be counterproductive. Ashley Stahl, Forbes, 20 May 2021 Aiming to never yell can be counterproductive, because repressing the negative emotion builds it up to explode. Washington Post, 13 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for counterproductive

Time Traveler

The first known use of counterproductive was in 1959

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Statistics for counterproductive

Last Updated

16 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Counterproductive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for counterproductive



English Language Learners Definition of counterproductive

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


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