non·​pro·​duc·​tive | \ ˌnän-prə-ˈdək-tiv How to pronounce nonproductive (audio) \

Definition of nonproductive

: not productive: such as
a : failing to produce or yield : unproductive a nonproductive oil well
b : not directly concerned with production the nonproductive labor of clerks and inspectors
c of a cough : dry sense 3a

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Other Words from nonproductive

nonproductiveness noun

Examples of nonproductive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Patients have what appear to be the typical symptoms of Covid-19: a nonproductive cough, chest tightness, and in some cases some mild gastrointestinal symptoms — usually nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Lisa Sanders, New York Times, "Partygoers in Seattle, a Suburban D.C. Mom: Coronavirus in the Community," 18 Mar. 2020 The highways will be crowded with hunters, but waiting until the following weekend of Oct. 26-27 might be nonproductive. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "The Nelchina guessing game: When will the caribou move, and how far will they go?," 7 Oct. 2019 Tomatoes may grow through the summer, and a few, like cherry tomatoes, set a few fruits but most are nonproductive. Tom Maccubbin,, "Most tomatoes won't grow in summer in Florida," 7 July 2018 Buffett said cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are nonproductive assets similar to gold. Josh Funk,, "Warren Buffet is still big on stocks — not on bitcoin," 8 May 2018 Several participants had prepared a statement on what should be done with these nonproductive members of society. Nan Randall, The Atlantic, "'Charlottesville': A Government-Commissioned Story About Nuclear War," 25 Jan. 2018 Remove the nonproductive rhizomes in the center, and carefully break apart the clump. Karen Dardick,, "Irises are flowers worth repeating," 19 Oct. 2017 State media in Russia have carried reports in recent days that Moscow is considering downgrading its diplomatic representation to NATO to protest against what Russian officials see as nonproductive dialogue with Brussels. Julian E. Barnes, WSJ, "NATO, Moscow Squabble Over Russian War Games Near Alliance Borders," 13 July 2017 The economy has stalled because too much wealth is being generated in nonproductive activity, hoarded to preserve for the rich all the things government no longer provides. Gideon Lewis-kraus, New York Times, "Could Hillary Clinton Become the Champion of the 99 Percent?," 23 July 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonproductive.' 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 nonproductive

1830, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for nonproductive

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The first known use of nonproductive was in 1830

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Cite this Entry

“Nonproductive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for nonproductive


non·​pro·​duc·​tive | \ -prə-ˈdək-tiv How to pronounce nonproductive (audio) \

Medical Definition of nonproductive

of a cough
: not effective in raising mucus or exudate from the respiratory tract : dry sense 2

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