unhealthy

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Vallejo recorded the poorest air quality in the region as conditions there inched closer to unhealthy air quality levels. Nora Mishanec, SFChronicle.com, "Air quality worsens for parts of Bay Area," 2 Nov. 2020 Humanitarian organizations say pushbacks at borders in countries such as Greece, an absence of sea rescues in the Mediterranean and unhealthy coronavirus quarantine arrangements have created huge challenges. Reuters And Kara Fox, CNN, "At least 20 migrants killed in shipwreck off Tunisian coast," 24 Dec. 2020 Seeking help early could also keep an unhealthy behavior from becoming a disorder, said Cynthia Bulik, founding director of the Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Allyson Chiu, Washington Post, "For many with eating disorders, pandemic set off ‘cascade of problems.’ Here’s how to get help.," 14 Dec. 2020 As the decades passed, palm oil became an essential ingredient for the food industry, which saw it as a substitute for unhealthy trans fats. Margie Mason And Robin Mcdowell, chicagotribune.com, "Rape, reproductive health hazards are common in palm oil fields linked to top beauty brands and everyday household products," 21 Nov. 2020 As the decades passed, palm oil became an essential ingredient for the food industry, as a substitute for unhealthy trans fats. Margie Mason And Robin Mcdowell, The Enquirer, "AP Investigation: Rape, abuses in palm oil fields linked to top beauty brands, including P&G products," 19 Nov. 2020 The state of California had a quiet overnight change of heart in regard to shutting down playgrounds under strict stay-at-home orders — apparently, the result of much criticism arguing that keeping children cooped up inside is unhealthy. Winston Gieseke, USA TODAY, "In California: State hits record for COVID-19 deaths in one day; playgrounds reopen," 10 Dec. 2020 Because bigger models aren’t shown as much in the industry, this leads people to believe that being plus-size isn’t normal and therefore is unhealthy. Georgia Murray, refinery29.com, "5 Plus-Size Models On Self-Love, Tokenism & Industry Icons," 17 Nov. 2020 No code red days were observed, when the air is considered unhealthy for the entire population. Washington Post, "Washington had best summer air quality on record due to covid-19 restrictions and good weather," 6 Oct. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of unhealthy

1595, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

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

Statistics for unhealthy

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unhealthy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unhealthy. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unhealthy

unhealthy

adjective
How to pronounce unhealthy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unhealthy

: not having or showing good health
: harmful to your health : likely to make you sick
: not doing well : not successful

unhealthy

adjective
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.

unhealthy

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on unhealthy

What made you want to look up unhealthy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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