unhealthy

adjective

un·​healthy ˌən-ˈhel-thē How to pronounce unhealthy (audio)
unhealthier; unhealthiest
1
: not conducive to health : not healthful
an unhealthy climate
unhealthy habits
unhealthy foods
2
: not in good health : sickly, diseased
unhealthy animals
3
a
: risky, unsound
an unhealthy economy
b
: of a harmful nature : bad, injurious
unhealthy levels of lead
c
: morally contaminated : corrupt, unwholesome
an unhealthy imagination
unhealthily adverb
unhealthiness noun

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 There's an air quality alert in place for most of southeast Michigan — the pollution is expected to be unhealthy for sensitive groups. Diamy Wang, Detroit Free Press, 13 July 2024 This does not mean fruits that are higher in sugar per serving are unhealthy. Jamie Johnson, Verywell Health, 11 July 2024 Air quality in far inland areas of the East Bay and in the Santa Clara Valley was expected to be unhealthy for the very young and elderly, as well as for those with heart, respiratory or other conditions. Rick Hurd, The Mercury News, 10 July 2024 Threat level: Breathing in unhealthy PM2.5 levels can increase a person's risk of heart disease, asthma, and low birth weight among pregnant people. Kim Bojórquez, Axios, 10 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for unhealthy 

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

1595, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of unhealthy was in 1595

Dictionary Entries Near unhealthy

Cite this Entry

“Unhealthy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unhealthy. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

unhealthy

adjective
un·​healthy ˌən-ˈhel-thē How to pronounce unhealthy (audio)
1
: not conducive to good health : not healthful
an unhealthy climate
2
: not in good health : sickly, diseased
3
a
: risky, unsound
an unhealthy economy
b
unhealthily adverb
unhealthiness noun

Medical Definition

unhealthy

adjective
un·​healthy -ˈhel-thē How to pronounce unhealthy (audio)
unhealthier; unhealthiest
1
: not conducive to health
an unhealthy climate
2
: not in good health : sickly
unhealthiness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on unhealthy

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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