un·pro·duc·tive | \ ˌən-prə-ˈdək-tiv , -prō- \

Definition of unproductive 

: not effective in bringing something about : not yielding results, benefits, or profits : not productive unproductive meetings unproductive strategies unproductive workers

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Examples of unproductive in a Sentence

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Look, everybody is trying to do a good job, but people sometimes fall into patterns that are unproductive and not of much use to readers. Mick Lasalle, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bill Maher says reviews like ‘I Feel Pretty’ aren’t reviews. Do you agree?," 30 May 2018 Roskam, however, dismissed the traditional in-person format as unproductive and boasted of his ability to reach far more people via convenient telephone town halls, which are arranged by his campaign. Erin Hegarty, Naperville Sun, "Congressional town halls: Old-fashioned and inefficient or vital to the fabric of democracy?," 28 Apr. 2018 Those efforts, as well as Mr. Trudeau’s earlier attempts to win over Mr. Trump and his advisers, proved unproductive. Ian Austen, New York Times, "Trade War and Canadian Pride Mix in Retaliatory Tariffs Against U.S.," 30 June 2018 Oil wealth has hidden a woefully unproductive economy, and fuelled Islamic ultra-puritanism around the world. The Economist, "How to ensure Muhammad bin Salman’s reforms succeed," 23 June 2018 But the Senate isn’t ready to take up the issue after a thoroughly unproductive immigration debate in February, followed by months of radio silence. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Roseanne Barr and the new political correctness," 29 May 2018 Despite these tangible benefits, one of the largest obstacles preventing biophilic design in the workspace is the perception – or misperception – that working in nature is unproductive. Ben Tobin, USA TODAY, "Desk, swivel chair, trees: Why companies are moving the office outdoors," 28 June 2018 Since Friday afternoons are typically the most unproductive part of the week, giving this time off doesn't necessarily cost companies that much. CBS News, "Taking Fridays off: Why it's good for business," 24 June 2018 About half of the land around the world currently used to produce high-quality coffee could be unproductive by 2050, according to a recent study in the journal Climatic Change. Justin Worland/alajuela, Time, "Your Morning Cup of Coffee Is in Danger. Can the Industry Adapt in Time?," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unproductive.' 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 unproductive

circa 1676, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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The first known use of unproductive was circa 1676

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