un·​healthy | \ ˌən-ˈhel-thē How to pronounce unhealthy (audio) \
unhealthier; unhealthiest

Definition of unhealthy

1 : not conducive to health : not healthful an unhealthy climate unhealthy habits unhealthy foods
2 : not in good health : sickly, diseased unhealthy animals
3a : risky, unsound an unhealthy economy
b : of a harmful nature : bad, injurious unhealthy levels of lead
c : morally contaminated : corrupt, unwholesome an unhealthy imagination

Other Words from unhealthy

unhealthily \ ˌən-​ˈhel-​thə-​lē How to pronounce unhealthy (audio) \ adverb
unhealthiness \ ˌən-​ˈhel-​thē-​nəs How to pronounce unhealthy (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for unhealthy



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of unhealthy in a Sentence

Her skin looks blotchy and unhealthy. Tests revealed an unhealthy level of lead in the water. Eating honey can be unhealthy for babies. He was stuck in an unhealthy relationship. She has an unhealthy interest in natural disasters.
Recent Examples on the Web This heavenly shampoo strips the hair of harmful oil, dirt, dead skin cells, and other impurities that causes the hair to look unhealthy and replaces it with nourishing hydration. The Salt Lake Tribune, 23 May 2022 Some tortures take too long to work, like ones involving stalactites or mildew, or forcing the victim to eat an unhealthy diet. Jack Handey, The New Yorker, 23 May 2022 However, many people avoid the subway because of increasing crime, unhealthy air, delays, faulty mechanical conditions, high costs, and limited parking. Baltimore Sun, 18 May 2022 Sandoval raised concerns about waiting to treat ectopic pregnancies that could not initially be seen on ultrasounds, even if all signs pointed to an unhealthy pregnancy. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 10 May 2022 Keen music listeners will recognize some of the reference points, but they’re also employed as ways for Kirke to frame her smart examinations of unhealthy relationships and show-business pitfalls. Jon Freeman, Rolling Stone, 28 Apr. 2022 Evidence from the trial suggests that along with weight loss come reductions in blood pressure, blood glucose and unhealthy lipids, as well as C-reactive protein (a measure of inflammation). Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, 26 Apr. 2022 These weekends had a rhythm to them, which involved unhealthy food, cussing the television, crossing out our brackets and calling our father in Kentucky to talk about the games. Michael Croley, CNN, 17 Mar. 2022 During dinner, Kate resists temptation to eat unhealthy food. Amanda Ostuni, EW.com, 9 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unhealthy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of unhealthy

1595, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About unhealthy

Time Traveler for unhealthy

Time Traveler

The first known use of unhealthy was in 1595

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near unhealthy




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for unhealthy

Last Updated

26 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Unhealthy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unhealthy. Accessed 29 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for unhealthy


un·​healthy | \ ˌən-ˈhel-thē How to pronounce unhealthy (audio) \
unhealthier; unhealthiest

Kids Definition of unhealthy

1 : not good for someone's health : promoting a state of poor health Smoking is an unhealthy habit.
2 : not in good health : sickly
3 : harmful, bad an unhealthy situation

Other Words from unhealthy

unhealthily \ -​thə-​lē \ adverb They eat unhealthily.


un·​healthy | \ -ˈhel-thē How to pronounce unhealthy (audio) \
unhealthier; unhealthiest

Medical Definition of unhealthy

1 : not conducive to health an unhealthy climate
2 : not in good health : sickly

Other Words from unhealthy

unhealthiness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on unhealthy

Nglish: Translation of unhealthy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unhealthy for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!