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



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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The sport has long nurtured an unhealthy relationship with the betting industry. Samindra Kunti, Forbes, 29 Dec. 2021 After a rollercoaster experience, marrying fellow Atlanta resident Chris Williams and dealing with the tumult of that unhealthy relationship, along with the online criticism of viewers, Banks is moving forward, happy and healthy. Essence, 29 Nov. 2021 This strikes me as supremely unhealthy: Our supercharged scrolling, our super-scolding, any difference of opinion or real or perceived grievance played out at hysteria pitch. Catherine Ostler, Vogue, 19 Nov. 2021 Exercise addiction describes an unhealthy relationship and obsession with participating in exercise and fitness activities to the point of being harmful both physiologically and psychologically6. Sara Lindberg, SELF, 29 Oct. 2021 San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Palo Alto and San Rafael reached the orange level, which is characterized as unhealthy for some people, Sunday afternoon, according to the Chronicle’s California Air Quality Map tracker. Jessica Flores, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Sep. 2021 Far from moralizing, Nolan gives readers a messy, authentic and complicated portrayal of an unhealthy relationship. Leah Dolan, CNN, 11 Aug. 2021 There is more and some of it has to do with what Elliott saw as Bourdain’s unhealthy relationship with the Italian actress and singer Asia Argento. Rick Kogan, chicagotribune.com, 19 July 2021 Twenty minutes later, five Colombian men clearly not expecting our visit walked toward us in shorts, t-shirts and dark blue croc-style sandals, looking gaunt and unhealthy. Natalie Gallón, CNN, 18 Dec. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of unhealthy

1595, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for unhealthy

Time Traveler

The first known use of unhealthy was in 1595

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Statistics for unhealthy

Last Updated

2 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Unhealthy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unhealthy. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for unhealthy



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


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


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