un·​pro·​duc·​tive ˌən-prə-ˈdək-tiv How to pronounce unproductive (audio)
: not effective in bringing something about : not yielding results, benefits, or profits : not productive
unproductive meetings
unproductive strategies
unproductive workers

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web People tend to assume that relaxation is the least productive activity imaginable, but time off plays second fiddle to unproductive labor. Michael Mcmullen, Forbes, 30 June 2022 The permanent shift to remote or hybrid work in some sectors has pushed many companies to adopt a less-is-more approach to virtual meetings, which many remote workers have criticized for being unproductive, and an interference to their other work. Bytristan Bove, Fortune, 3 Jan. 2023 Miller was unproductive, struggled defensively and got hurt. Dallas News, 29 July 2022 The Denver defense is frustrated, the offense is unproductive, and the Ravens will be coming in ready to dominate on both sides after their shocking loss. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 29 Nov. 2022 Despite the statistics that show the level of productivity that can come from remote employees, there is still a pervasive thought among some that remote workers are lazy, unproductive or not putting in their full eight hours. Ginni Saraswati, Forbes, 26 May 2022 Yet, Vegas continues to undervalue Tennessee, in part, because of their often unproductive passing game. Richard Morin, USA TODAY, 1 Dec. 2022 Musk agreed to buy Twitter in April for $44 billion, after complaining publicly — mostly on Twitter — that its role as a platform for free speech was being threatened by woke orthodoxy, mismanagement, and too many unproductive workers. Larry Edelman, BostonGlobe.com, 30 Nov. 2022 While our stories are vital and life-affirming, they are also loaded with ego energy that can trap us in patterns of defensiveness and unproductive interactions. Chuck Wisner, Fortune, 29 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1676, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unproductive was circa 1676

Dictionary Entries Near unproductive

Cite this Entry

“Unproductive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unproductive. Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

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