sus·​tain·​able sə-ˈstā-nə-bəl How to pronounce sustainable (audio)
: capable of being sustained
: 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
: of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods
sustainable society
sustainability noun
sustainably adverb

Example Sentences

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 But Heard on the Street columnist Jacky Wong says this rally in Japanese stocks could be more sustainable, especially if some big alternatives like Chinese shares continue to tread water. Joe Wallace, WSJ, 31 May 2023 There are other hints alluding to the property's efforts to be sustainable: the compost container in the kitchen cabinet, the compostable coffee pods, the lack of single-use plastics, and Earth-minded product choices in cleaning supplies and even spa treatment ingredients. Samantha Brooks, Travel + Leisure, 29 May 2023 Industry officials claim the technology is more sustainable than landfills, which create a huge climate problem as rotting trash releases potent greenhouse gas emissions while slowly decomposing. Evan Halper, Washington Post, 29 May 2023 Many businesses in Breck already have been composting or encouraging guests to be more sustainable. Kathleen Wong, USA TODAY, 28 May 2023 Our Sustainable Innovation Awards began as Sustainable Packaging Awards, but expanded later to include a broader look at sustainable innovations and practices of products and this year services. Good Housekeeping, 25 May 2023 There is a legitimate substantive debate to be had about the path to sustainable development and whether new oil drilling should be on the table. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, 25 May 2023 Of course, that’s just a temporary fix for the underlying problem – a lack of political will to strike the tough compromises that would create viable and sustainable budgets. Laurent Belsie, The Christian Science Monitor, 24 May 2023 Studio71 aims to use these channels to help its affiliated creators raise their profile beyond the social realm and to build sustainable business operations. William Earl, Variety, 16 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sustainable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1924, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sustainable was in 1924

Dictionary Entries Near sustainable

Cite this Entry

“Sustainable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on sustainable

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