un·​health·​ful ˌən-ˈhelth-fəl How to pronounce unhealthful (audio)
 also  -ˈheltth-
: harmful to health of body or mind : unhealthy sense 1
unhealthful levels of water pollution
an unhealthful diet
an unhealthful tendency to worry

Examples of unhealthful in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Increased Alcohol and Tobacco Use A late-night lifestyle often goes hand-in-hand with other unhealthful behaviors. Amanda MacMillan, Health, 3 Sep. 2023 Hypertension can also be caused by lifestyle patterns, such as unhealthful eating or lack of exercise. Amanda MacMillan, Health, 3 Sep. 2023 Meanwhile, air in parts of the San Gabriel Valley remained unhealthful, and a swath of the Southland from downtown L.A. to the Inland Empire still had air quality that was considered unhealthful for sensitive groups. Grace Toohey, Los Angeles Times, 5 July 2023 Air quality monitors from Pasadena to Long Beach recorded unhealthful levels right around 10 p.m. Tuesday after measuring in mostly healthful levels for most of the day, according to the U.S. Air Quality Index. Grace Toohey, Los Angeles Times, 5 July 2023 An Air Quality Index between 101 and 150 means the air is considered unhealthful for sensitive groups. Vanessa Arredondo, Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2023 Soils in cities can have high levels of toxins like heavy metals (like lead, mercury, arsenic) and other funky, unhealthful stuff. The Intersection, Discover Magazine, 27 Jan. 2011 In recent years, research has shown cooking with a gas stove, which requires burning methane, can result in combustion byproducts, including unhealthful levels of lung-aggravating nitrogen dioxides, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. Tony Briscoestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 27 Oct. 2022 Rigorous exercise and an unhealthful diet will not do it. Ed Stannard, Hartford Courant, 3 Aug. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unhealthful.' 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

1580, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unhealthful was in 1580

Dictionary Entries Near unhealthful

Cite this Entry

“Unhealthful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unhealthful. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition



Medical Definition


un·​health·​ful -ˈhelth-fəl How to pronounce unhealthful (audio)
: detrimental to good health
unhealthful working conditions
unhealthfulness noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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