un·​san·​i·​tary | \ ˌən-ˈsa-nə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce unsanitary (audio) \

Definition of unsanitary

: unclean enough to endanger health : not sanitary unsanitary conditions unsanitary habits/practices

Examples of unsanitary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Crick quickly confirmed what was already widely believed: that many abortions were carried out in unsanitary conditions by amateur doctors, sometimes even causing patients to collapse in the street on their way home. oregonlive, "Corruption made Portland the ‘abortion capital of the world’ in 1950s, until shocking undercover sting," 1 Apr. 2021 That summer, President Donald Trump dispatched Harris' predecessor, Vice President Mike Pence, to tour U.S. Border Patrol facilities accompanied by cameras that captured packed, unsanitary conditions. Ben Gittleson, ABC News, "Biden taps Harris to stem migration flow from Central America," 24 Mar. 2021 Life is difficult in the crowded refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazar, with unsanitary conditions and higher rates of crime and trafficking. Washington Post, "Deadly fire in a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh kills 15, hundreds missing," 23 Mar. 2021 Homeless San Diegans were hit hard and officials said unsanitary conditions related to people living on the street contributed to the problem. Michael Smolens Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: San Diego can never make up its mind about tackling homelessness," 21 Mar. 2021 Advocates for detainees inside Maryland’s Chesapeake Detention Facility filed a federal lawsuit Saturday alleging that a host of unsanitary conditions fostered a coronavirus outbreak that affected 234 inmates and employees. Washington Post, "Coronavirus outbreak inside Maryland detention facility sparks class-action lawsuit," 21 Feb. 2021 Advocates say the unsanitary conditions coupled with the threat of the coronavirus has fueled concerns of deadly outbreaks. NBC News, "'Animals at the zoo get better treatment': Inside Texas' frigid jails," 20 Feb. 2021 Food kept outside also could be exposed to animals and unsanitary conditions. Erin Booke, Dallas News, "Do not store your food outside if you lose power. Here’s why," 15 Feb. 2021 Many residents, La said, are still afraid of being separated from their families and detained in unsanitary facilities. NBC News, "Nguyen vs. Nguyen race in Calif. highlights rise of Vietnamese American electorate," 12 Nov. 2020

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

1872, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for unsanitary

Time Traveler

The first known use of unsanitary was in 1872

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Statistics for unsanitary

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unsanitary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsanitary. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for unsanitary



English Language Learners Definition of unsanitary

: dirty and likely to cause disease : not sanitary


un·​san·​i·​tary | \ ˌən-ˈsa-nə-ˌter-ē \

Kids Definition of unsanitary

: likely to cause sickness or disease : dirty or full of germs


un·​san·​i·​tary | \ -ˈsan-ə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce unsanitary (audio) \

Medical Definition of unsanitary

: not sanitary : insanitary unsanitary conditions

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Nglish: Translation of unsanitary for Spanish Speakers

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