sus·​tain·​able | \ sə-ˈstā-nə-bəl How to pronounce sustainable (audio) \

Definition of sustainable

1 : capable of being sustained
2a : of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged sustainable techniques sustainable agriculture
b : of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods sustainable society

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Other Words from sustainable

sustainability \ sə-​ˌstā-​nə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce sustainability (audio) \ noun
sustainably \ sə-​ˈstā-​nə-​blē How to pronounce sustainably (audio) \ adverb

Examples of sustainable in a Sentence

a line of argument that is probably not sustainable in a public forum against skilled debaters has no sustainable claim to the property without a deed or some other document

Recent Examples on the Web

The prince's collaboration is tied to the Positive Fashion initiative, which seeks to make fashion more sustainable. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Charles Branches Out Into Sustainable Fashion with Dresses Made from Nettles," 1 Sep. 2019 The Gators went 3-0 in one-possession games and recovered 63.6 percent of fumbles last season, a streak of luck that isn’t sustainable. Christopher Smith, al, "2019 SEC football power rankings from a gambling perspective," 21 Aug. 2019 Cooking and meal prepping: Eating ramen noodles and Pop-Tarts every day is not sustainable. Natalie Wade,, "10 things I wish I knew before going to college," 19 Aug. 2019 Scooter companies have been implementing some changes intended to make the vehicles more environmentally sustainable. Los Angeles Times, "Electric scooters are good for the environment, right? Here’s why it’s not so simple," 2 Aug. 2019 Since then, the organizing committee has gathered over 47,000 tons of tech waste and more than 5 million cell phones in an effort to make the Games more sustainable. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "The 2020 Olympic Medals Will Be Made from Recycled Gadgets," 26 July 2019 The outpost The Gateway is the one aspect of the Artemis program that is supposed to make the entire project more sustainable than Apollo. Loren Grush, The Verge, "NASA’s daunting to-do list for sending people back to the Moon," 18 July 2019 And a system that runs by marinating a third or more of the workforce in chronic stress isn’t sustainable. Emily Guendelsberger, Vox, "I was a fast-food worker. Let me tell you about burnout.," 15 July 2019 The model was one of the first to try to make public pensions sustainable. The Economist, "Chile tinkers with its ground-breaking pensions system," 8 June 2019

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

1924, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for sustainable

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for sustainable

The first known use of sustainable was in 1924

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More Definitions for sustainable



English Language Learners Definition of sustainable

: able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed
: involving methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources
: able to last or continue for a long time

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Comments on sustainable

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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