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 Nonetheless, at some near point in time, the eviction moratorium will no longer be constitutionally sustainable and will have to come to an end. Jay Adkisson, Forbes, "America’s Homelessness Problem Is About To Get Much Worse As The Eviction Moratorium Ends," 17 Apr. 2021 Peake, who has over 30 years of experience in international development, works thoughtfully to ensure that such partnerships are not only sustainable but ethically set up to allow for the craftspeople’s long-term success. New York Times, "The T List: Five Things We Recommend This Week," 15 Apr. 2021 Funds in the European Union will have to disclose how sustainable their products are, while U.K. lenders could face tougher capital requirements for polluting assets held on their books. The Christian Science Monitor, "Why some climate scientists are joining the finance industry," 15 Apr. 2021 Semler and Moffet have raised their kids in Brooksville, composing a life that is sustainable on a whole lot of levels. Kevin West, Travel + Leisure, "Experience True Farm-to-Table Living on a Culinary Road Trip Through Coastal Maine," 12 Apr. 2021 Natural ingredients are great, but make sure they’re harvested in a way that is environmentally sustainable and that the people harvesting them are treated fairly and paid a fair wage. Sydney Poe,, "Best natural beauty products that actually work," 9 Apr. 2021 The idea is to create real meat, but in a way that is more sustainable, ethical, and healthy. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "Company on a quest for ‘kosher bacon’ raises $24 million for its lab-grown fat," 7 Apr. 2021 There’d also be $300 million to help water districts meet a state requirement that all groundwater pumping be sustainable by 2040. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Drought is upon us. California’s Senate leader has a plan to keep it from becoming a crisis," 5 Apr. 2021 On Running's Cloud is sustainable, lightweight, flexible, and breathable with a moisture-wicking textile lining for a healthy in-shoe climate. Daria Smith, Southern Living, "The Best Amazon Sneakers for Every Kind of Lifestyle," 31 Mar. 2021

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

19 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

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

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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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