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 sustainable (audio) \ noun
sustainably \ sə-​ˈstā-​nə-​blē How to pronounce sustainable (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 But his six carries for 44 yard outing isn’t sustainable. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers playoff preview: What will be different this time around," 4 Jan. 2021 The strict capacity restrictions are not sustainable, hospitality industry leaders and business owners say. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, "As Anchorage restaurants and bars get ready to reopen once again, the future remains murky for many," 1 Jan. 2021 Vintage is sustainable, but generally far more affordable. San Francisco Chronicle, "Neutral Ground is on a mission to make vintage modern — and more inclusive," 1 Jan. 2021 For the greater population, a perpetual lockdown isn’t sustainable. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Could California lockdown restrictions end in January?," 25 Dec. 2020 Our ability to protect employees and customers while straining under productivity limitations is not sustainable. CNN, "Small businesses owners: Our livelihoods are at stake and Congress doesn't seem to care," 10 Dec. 2020 Tom Ford recently crafted a watch that is sustainable and made from ocean plastic that rings in at $995. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Why I’m Buying My First Watch," 10 Dec. 2020 Best of all, the program forgoes restrictive dieting and overly intense workouts, neither of which tend to be sustainable long-term, according to Noom. Sian Babish,, "Noom review: Can this program help you achieve sustainable weight loss?," 19 Dec. 2020 The organization has been able to create some sewing packets with necessary materials and send them to students who can then participate in workshops over Zoom, but this method is too costly to be sustainable. Megan Embrey, House Beautiful, "The Social Justice Sewing Academy Fosters Dialogue Through Quilting," 16 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for sustainable

Time Traveler

The first known use of sustainable was in 1924

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Statistics for sustainable

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sustainable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for sustainable


How to pronounce sustainable (audio)

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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